Cutting off more than 1,000 trees for PM Modi’s visit to the western Odisha town of Balangir has created a new controversy. As a vacant land was required for the helipad, authorities have cleared 1.25 hectares of areas.
The urban plantation programme suggested that the saplings planted on 2.25 hectares were controlled by Indian Railways in 2016.
When asked by the Railway officials, they said the land had been cleared for a helipad. From the security point of view, trees were urgently cut down, he said.
According to an inquiry, the trees had a survival rate close to 90%
Balangir Divisional Forest Officer Sameer Satpathy told reporters that the trees had been cut without obtaining permission from the forest department. “When our staff tried to stop the cutting of trees, the site in-charge said that there had been strict instructions from higher authorities to make space for the helipad,”.
PM Modi will visit Odisha to flag off the inauguration of Khurda-Balangir railway line.