Indore: Citizens Take Up Cudgels Against Felling Of Trees At Malhar Ashram

Indore: Citizens Take Up Cudgels Against Felling Of Trees At Malhar Ashram

Around 300 residents of areas adjoining Malhar Ashram along with various wildlife NGOs, forest lover organisations and other groups gathered to form a human chain in protest.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Monday, July 01, 2024, 10:32 AM IST
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People gather at Malhar Ashram on Sunday, holding placards stating not to cut trees | FP Photo

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): A public movement has begun to save trees in the city, as more than a hundred trees and tree stalks have been cut at Malhar Ashram in the recent past with a significant portion of the felling taking place on Sunday.

Around 300 residents of areas adjoining Malhar Ashram along with various wildlife NGOs, forest lover organisations and other groups gathered to form a human chain in protest. They were seen holding placards among the cut trees and singing the national anthem to draw the government's attention to their plight.

Advocate Abhinav P Dhanodkar emphasised the need to draw the government's attention to this issue and mentioned plans to file a petition against the tree felling. The trees cut were part of Ahilya Van which is a government project and they are being cut down for another government project, which he called completely unfair. He argued that even if there were plans to build something there, such a decision to cut down so many trees should not have been made.

According to school authorities, permission for cutting 34 trees was taken and trees have been felled accordingly. However, residents alleged that more than 100 trees were cut in a span of over one and a half years for these projects. For the last 2 years, the residents along with various NGOs had developed a green belt on 2 acres of land named Ahilya Van identified by National Green Tribunal (NGT), however, as per the residents the green belt is also in danger. According to the new plan, a sports complex will be constructed on the green belt area adjacent to the school boundary.

The protest saw various prominent people of society including Janak Palta, Sunil Vyas, Abhinav P Dhanodkar and others.

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On one hand, the IMC is planting 51 lakh saplings to grow into trees, while on the other hand, they are cutting 40 to 80-year-old trees to make way for CM Rise Government School.

-Advocate Abhinav P Dhanodkar

Garden department's response

The garden department official elaborated, ‘Total geographical area of Indore is near about 250 square km and only prominent entities like MPRDC, IDA, and MP Metro Rail Corporation get permission to cut trees for development projects. In the last three years, we have sanctioned cutting of 5,170 trees for the same.’

As per claims of the municipal corporation official, about 60 per cent of the total relocated trees survived. ‘It is the responsibility of the institutions to relocate an equal number of trees cut by them. Out of 5,170 trees cut in the last three years, 60 per cent of relocated trees adapted and survived. The survival rate depends on the area, conditions and adaptability,’ Patil said. He emphasised on identifying and developing 85 green patches resulting in increasing the green cover.

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