Cut trees for Jewar airport only in phases, say activists

Cut trees for Jewar airport only in phases, say activists

NOIDA: Environment protection activists have written to the forest department demanding that steps be taken to prevent cutting of 6,000 trees in one go in Jewar for the upcoming international airport. They propose cutting of trees in a phased manner “to avoid a massive impact on the ecology of the region”. The forest department says a final estimate is underway and the tree owners will be compensated.

The UP government had in October issued a notification for the acquisition of 1239.14 hectares of land for the Jewar international airport project, under Section 11 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

“We have received information that as many as 6,000 trees could be cut for the airport. This is a large number and we appeal to the Union ministry of environment and forests to reconsider the decision. Previously for other projects, we have seen how a small change in a plan can save thousands of trees,” Vikrant Tongad, founder of Social Action for Forests and Environment (SAFE), said.

“Also, we have made an appeal that the trees should not be cut in one go, but in small numbers as and when the expansion of the project takes place. As the trees get cut, plantation of the new saplings should also start at the same time,” he added. However, the forest department said the estimate for the number of trees to be cut “is still on”. “We are still working on the total number of trees to be cut for the project. Once the number is finalized and the trees identified, their owners would be given compensation as per the value of the timber,” said AK Srivastav, district forest officer, Gautam Budh Nagar.

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