Published On : Fri, Nov 6th, 2015

Illegal felling of full grown trees on the rise in Nagpur area – green cover depleting rapidly

Nagpur: Nagpur, which has been so proud of its status as India’s No. One Green city is not zealous at all when it comes to protecting its green cover. Central India is blessed with a plethora of naturally growing trees like Sag, Mangoes, Jambhul, Tamarind, Neem, Mahua even Sandalwood. These trees have given us some much needed respite during our Killer heat months of April, May and June and ensured regular rain fall also. But we, Nagpur citizens are careless about safeguarding our green cover letting illegal felling happen and even let wood mafia flourish.

According to first hand reports, in the last week, about three Sag trees were felled in the city without requisite permissions from the Forest department.

The situation is even worse in the once densely forested jungles surrounding Nagpur. In the Wanadongri area of Hingna over 104 trees were felled between 10 to 15 October. JCBs were used to uproot these trees from their very roots. Most of them were teak trees. After that in Peoni area, around 50 to 60 trees were felled.

Three teak trees were felled in the Forest department’s  protected  area of Bawanthadi irrigation project. This fact was brought to the attention of seniors by a guard doing the rounds in the morning.

Nagpurians have noticed that in the name of road broadening, or putting electric lines and cables, sometime even to put up Welcome signs for political ‘VIPs’ and electrification during festivals, trees are made to bear the brunt. They are pruned ruthlessly and sometime cut down completely.

Forget other areas of the city, the VNIT campus, which was once a repository of rare trees and a good area of it was covered by ‘shrub forests’ ( jhadi jhudpi jungle) and therefore this campus was called the green lungs of the city has been seeing rapid construction of new buildings. Every year, more trees are felled, more shrubs cleared and a new building comes up, not even very eco friendly.

Same is the case with the rich shrubs forest that once lined the Central Bazar road in the PKV land. This area is now seeing a ‘jungle’ of another kind. Completely illegal mushrooming of eateries and other commercial enterprises like ‘lawns’ for weddings!

Are the authorities too blind to this rape of Nagpur’s rich, natural resource?

This is, on paper a very serious crime, punishable with a prison term. There is also a rule that for every tree felled, a new one must be planted. Is this being observed?

If situation continues like this, we could very well become a desert land instead of a green ( or orange city) with rainfall becoming lessening and summer temperatures soaring to upto 50* even – we are already seeing the previous high of 47 going up to 49 on some days.

Hell is coming – and we deserve it.

Sunita Mudaliar

Associate Editor