Gaighat, October 11
More than 26,000 trees were felled during the construction of various plans and projects in the past three years in Udayapur.
Data at District Forest Office shows that trees were chopped from Chure and Mahabharat range.
Gaighat Sector Forest Officer Jageswor Sah said that 8,393 trees from community forests and 18,485 trees from the national forest were cut for the Dharan-Chatara-Hetauda-road and Dhalkebar-Duhabi 400 KV transmission line project expansion. “All the trees were chopped as per the standard criteria,” Sah said.
After the trees were cleared, new trees, however, were not planted. Twenty-five new trees have to be planted for one felled tree, but the concerned agency has not shown concern about the need for afforestation, said Sah.
Despite the written request to plant new trees, the concerned agency has shown apathy, according to Division Forest office Uadayapur forest officer Lalbabu Yadav. “It takes around 15 million to plant new trees. If the money is provided, the forest office is ready to plant new trees”, Yadav said.
Dharan-Chatara-Hetauda Road Project Eastern office Gaighat said that the budget was yet to be sanctioned for tree plantation despite their request.
A version of this article appears in print on October 12, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.