Lakhma demands probe in felling of trees, Minister Gagda denies

Lakhma demands probe in felling of trees, Minister Gagda denies

Raipur, March 02: Forest Minister Mahesh Gagda denied to probe the issue of felling of trees for construction of roads in Sukma district stating that forest department is not carrying out the construction while Lakhma pointed out that on both sides of road being constructed, around 50 metres, the lakhs of trees have been felled in 47 km road, which should be probed.
Kawasi Lakhma had raised the question that in District Sukma for the under construction road from Polampalli-Jagargunda route, InjaramBhejji-Maraiguda-Golapalli route,Golapalli-Jagargunda route which type of species trees have been cut and the number. Details of the trees which were submitted with the depot and from which the amount of income generated by the state government.
In the written reply Forest minister Mahesh Gagda had stated that no trees have been cut in the routes which has been mentioned but Executive Engineer, Public Works Department, the contractors appointed for widening of the road had felled 894 trees by uprooting them.
The species are Bija, Saja, Dhawda, Mahuwa, Senha, Sivna, Tenud, Ghot, Karra, Jamun, amaltash, Tangan, Kumbhi, Harra, Khair, Babul, Saguan, Rohan, Senha, tamarind, Haldu, Mode, Birra and Shirish. On Pollampalli-Jagargunda route 151 trees were uprooted which at Injaram-Bhejji total 25 and Sukma-Maraiguda total 718 trees were uprooted.
Out of the uprooted trees from 35 trees arund 86 woods were received out of which 70 nos were transported to Sukma wood storage centre of forest department. It was auctioned and government received Rs 6.30 lkh as revenue.
Lakhma raising supplementary question that forest minister in reply had said that 47 km road only 151 treess had been felled but in Gollapalli-Maraiguda route which is just 18 km 718 trees had been felled points out to the fact that area is dense forest and illegal felling has been done more than the recorded. He said that such large scale of felling will have direct impact on environment, day to day life of the tribals’ considering forest minister can probe it. Minister said that he had asked the DFO to hold the inspection of site. Lakhma mentioned that security forces are also felling trees and utilising it for making furnitures within the camp is a different matter but in name of construction of road, which is required large scale of felling of trees cannot be justified. Congress member Bhupesh Baghel also extended support stating that during his visit to the region he had travelled is dense forest area and he had to take the MLA with him. Minister said that he can send CCF with the member for inspection of the sites. Lakhma repeated his demand for probe while minister said of there is no such issue for probe.

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