Odisha Chopped 1.85 Crore Trees To Build Roads In 10 Years But Planted Only 29 Lakh

by Sanjana Shenoy
Odisha Chopped 1.85 Crore Trees To Build Roads In 10 Years But Planted Only 29 Lakh

Odisha felled a whopping number of 1.85 crore trees in the last decade to widen roads. However, the State Government planted only around 29.83 lakh trees during this period to compensate for the loss of green cover. The trees chopped down were at least 20 to 30 years old, they provided shelter to pedestrians,  birds and animals. The number of trees planted to make up for this loss is drastically low, as compared to the number felled. Here’s everything you need to know.

Odisha Government Felled 1.85 Crore Trees & Planted Just 29 Lakh Saplings As Compensation

Trees truly have the potential to tackle crisis like climate change and global warming. Alas, more often than not, the trees are the first to be chopped down for development purposes. It’s nothing different in Odisha. The State Government over the last 10 years, has cut down over 1.85 crore trees. But it planted only 29 lakh over the same period to make up for it.  According to The New Indian Express, Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha stated that a total of 1,85,00,748 trees were chopped down between the years 2010-11 and 2020-21 for widening highways in Odisha. He further stated,” The trees have been cut down from both forest and non-forest land mainly for expansion of National Highways and State Highways. The loss has been compensated with the plantation of 29,83,573 trees at a cost of Rs 66.17 crore during the last 10 years.”

Also Read: 1500 Mangrove Trees To Be Chopped In Mumbai For Construction Of Versova-Bandra Sea Link

odisha chopped trees
Picture Credits: scroll.in

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The Trees Cut Down Were Atleast 20 Years Old

Instead of just replanting saplings to compensate for the chopped trees, they need to be translocated. After all, saplings take years to grow and turn into trees to make up for the lost green cover. Environmental activist Hemant Sahu informed TheIndiaPrint.Com, “Those trees that have fallen should be at least 20–30 years old. The trees were not only giving shade to the pedestrians but were also home to birds and many wild animals.” He further stressed that the government should have focussed on another alternative to widening roads, instead of just cutting down trees. Sahu states that out of the 30 lakh trees planet, only 5 percent of them might be saved. Earlier in Bangalore, citizens protested over the chopping down of trees at HAL junction. 

odisha chopped trees

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Chopped Trees In Odisha Need To Be Translocated

Biswajit Mohanty, another prominent environmentalist, expressed the importance of translocation of trees to The Hindu. He stated to The Hindu, “The translocation of grown trees should be given first priority than compensatory afforestation. If we are able to translocate a tree and it survives, it will immediately compensate for the loss. The new plantation will take years to offset the environmental loss.” We hope the Odisha government takes actions to restore the lost green cover in the state. Meanwhile, did you know about the Great Banyan Tree in Howrah that looks like a jungle?