|Many trees got uprooted by the unusually ferocious gale in different parts of the twin cities on recent night and soon, another batch of over a hundred fully-grown trees would be axed at Kukatpally Housing Board (KPHB).|
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has proposed to build a flyover near the Malaysian Township in Kukatpally as part of the Strategic Road Development Plan (SRDP) and had even awarded the contract following which a few piers were built.
Although the Tree Protection Committee had consented to cutting down trees in lieu of planting five saplings in place of one big tree, voluntary agencies had sought time for translocating them without any financial burden to the civic body.
Initially, four trees were permitted to be translocated only with the intervention of GHMC Commissioner B. Janardhan Reddy, by a voluntary agency, Vata Foundation. Yet, before they could act, an overzealous supervisor removed two trees in haste when the agency appealed to the municipal corporation to allow them to translocate trees before chopping them at its own cost. Since neither the GHMC nor the Forest Department funds such translocations and even as the Foundation was scouting for funds or equipment to move the trees to a ‘safe location’, the countdown for cutting down tress began. “We have sought time till the monsoon to shift the trees as it allows regeneration of roots. It takes three weeks to do so, but they want us to move them right away or they will face the axe,” bemoans Sumesha Reddy of Vata Foundation.
“We had suggested trimming of branches or removing the footpath for the flyover ramp leading to Forum Mall, but the GHMC engineer informed us that the contractor does not want to wait lest he is accused of work delay,” sighs P. Udaykrishna, foundation trustee.
Incidentally, he had successfully translocated 16 trees on his volition when he took up the construction of the foot over bridge and another 17 trees on the Kondapur road near Botanical Gardens with High Court’s help as the civic body turned a deaf ear two years ago.