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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Intensifying their protest against cutting down of trees for construction of MLA quarters in Bhubaneswar, a group of environmentalists and nature lovers attached to the ‘Mahanadi Banchao Andolan’ forum staged a demonstration in the city on Tuesday.

A multi-storied building for the residential purpose of MLAs is coming up at the cost of the old and valuable trees along the stretch from Rabindra Mandap to the Commissionerate Police office in the Capital city.

Holding placards and shouting slogans against the State government, the protestors demanded immediate stoppage of the axing of trees. More than 200 trees have been reportedly cut down so far while 600 more trees are to be felled to facilitate the construction of the building.

“Only concrete jungles are being created in Bhubaneswar, but expanding green cover by planting more and more trees are the need of the hour. Then only Bhubaneswar will be in a livable condition for the denizens,” said environmentalist Jaykrushna Panigrahi.

“So many concrete structures have come up in Bhubaneswar at the cost of thousands of trees. The world is going through a severe crisis of climate change. Given the seriousness of the situation, it may not be possible for human beings to survive on the earth,” said Panigrahi.

The protestors also said that they will not allow the rest of the trees in the area to be axed.

“The decision of the State government is against the environment and people of Bhubaneswar. We strongly condemn the decision. We will continue our protest and not allow the cutting of trees anymore,” said Sudarsan Das, the convener of Mahanadi Banchao Andolan.

A day earlier, the outfit had upped the ante against the project by lodging a complaint at Kharvelnagar police station requesting a probe to find out who has given permission to axe the trees and whether it is legal or not.

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