The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board (HMWSSB) has been given permission by the Forest Department to fell 154 trees along Nagarjunasagar–Hyderabad State highway-1 for laying pipelines under Krishna phase III project. But the Board has been asked to plant five saplings in place of each tree that would be cut down as part of afforestation measures.

That necessitates the HMWSSB to plant 770 saplings for felling 154 trees. Those trees that are endemic to the place have to be translocated to safer place with the assistance of the Forest Department officials. Besides, the Board has to take up afforestation measures within 30 days of felling the trees.

Speaking to The Hindu, Nalgonda Divisional Forest Officer S. Satyanarayana said that the district has only six per cent of total forest area and keeping this in mind, the HMWSSB authorities were asked to plant saplings in place of the felled trees. The Department has suggested the Board officials to plant those saplings that were available in the nursery for three to four years as the survival rate of tender saplings was poor in the district.

The work of cutting down trees is currently underway.