Urbanization and development go hand in hand. In order to achieve the objective road widening and building of flyovers becomes necessary. However, this often comes at the cost of losing green cover.
Although transplantation and translocation of trees is an age-old practice around the globe to maintain the ecological balance, it is rarely considered as a solution which can prevent large-scale deforestation.
However, keeping in mind the challenges of global warming and climate change, the Odisha Forest Department has suggested the national highway developers for translocation of trees instead of cutting them down.
“The Forest Department has requested the authorities constructing Highways for the translocation of trees, which can survive during transportation, instead of felling them. Trees like- Banyan, Peepal, Ashok can be saved through translocation and the technology for it is also available in India now. If the technique succeeds in saving trees along the highways, it can be implemented in cities and other locations at a later stage,” said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Sisir Kumar Ratho.
The PCCF believes that the initiative will be instrumental in saving the trees in cities and other locations, where large scale trees are being felled under the garb of development, in the coming days.
Meanwhile, environmentalists have welcomed the proposal of the State forest department and opined that timely action is essential for the protection of trees.
“A large number of trees are being cut for the widening of roads, construction of houses, factories and industries which has adverse effect on the environment. We should protect trees in order to prevent global warming and climate change. Instead of cutting down trees, they can be translocated to other safe places with the help of machines. The technique has become a success in many countries,” said environmentalist, Jaykrushna Panigrahi.
It is worth mentioning here that a whopping 18.5 million trees were felled for widening roads in the State in the past decade. The Odisha Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha had furnished the data in March this year while replying in the State Assembly to a query on the number of trees which had been felled during road expansion projects.
A total of 1,85,00,748 trees have been felled for the widening of roads in Odisha from 2010-11 to 2020-21, Arukha had stated.