Other States

Odisha likely to move NHAI for translocation of trees

The Forest Department in Odisha may move the National High Authority of India (NHAI) with a request to translocate trees that are felled when laying roads.

The proposal was mooted in the wake of a massive loss of tree cover due to road-widening projects in the State. More than 18.5 million trees have been felled for the widening of roads in the State in the past decade.

“We will move the NHAI with a request to issue an advisory to executing agencies to deracinate fully-grown trees and translocate them to nearby areas. Though the translocation of trees has not been taken up in any of our projects, we can make a new beginning,” a Forest official said.

He said banyan, arjuna and peepal trees, preferably around 15-years-old, should especially be extirpated and planted again as their chances of survival were higher.

“It is difficult to deracinate trees that are more than 50-years-old. If the taproot gets slashed during the removal process, chances of the survival of the transplanted tree become slim,” the official added.

“The skill and technical know-how for the translocation of trees are available. We can start it on a limited scale by identifying endangered species and trees with medicinal value,” said Ram Prasad Panda, Chief General Manager, NHAI, Bhubaneswar.

According to sources, however, the major problem in relocating trees would be the scarcity of land. The identification of land for trees requiring translocation should be made at the beginning of a project.

According to information given by Odisha Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha in the State Assembly earlier this year, more than 18.5 million trees had been felled for the widening of roads in the State in a decade. The loss had been compensated with the plantation of only 2.9 million trees in the State.

If a tree was translocated and it survived, it would immediately compensate the loss. But the new plantation would take years to offset the environmental loss.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 12:45:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/odisha-likely-to-move-nhai-for-translocation-of-trees/article36039455.ece

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