More than 20 full grown trees have been axed on the VST-Indira Park stretch to make way for the elevated corridor under construction as part of the Strategic Road Development Plan (SRDP) project in the city.
While the trees have been felled following proper procedures, by obtaining necessary permissions from the district level tree protection committee, environment enthusiasts have expressed anguish at the measure.
“They announce Haritha Haram and Green India Challenges, and proudly display the trophy of Hyderabad as Tree City of India, but cannot allow us to carry out free translocation of trees to where people are ready to adopt them,” said P. Uday Krishna from Vata Foundation, who has made it his mission to translocate trees permitted to be felled by the tree protection committee.
Forest officials, while confirming that all necessary permissions have been obtained, said nod for felling is given by the tree protection committee for exotic species such as Peltophorum and Rain Tree.
“If it is a native variety such as neem or ficus, we try to protect them either by retaining or mandating translocation,” an official shared.
Demand for translocation instead of felling the trees standing in the way of public utility projects has been gaining strength for the past few years. Minister K. T. Rama Rao had reportedly given explicit instructions to the GHMC and urban development officials not to resort to tree felling for infrastructural projects. Translocation should be the option for trees irrespective of species even if felling is recommended, he is said to have told the officials, though no explicit orders have been issued towards this.