Cuttack: The Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) authorities do not seem to have learnt from the disastrous effects of urbanization which resulted in a blistering summer this year. With over a thousand trees felled in the city in the past three years, the CMC’s slogan ‘Green City’ has turned out to be a damp squib.
The attempts on the part of CMC to make Cuttack a Green City and create an eco-friendly atmosphere have been futile as the city has turned out to be a concrete jungle, with rapid depletion of its green cover.
According to reports, 252 trees were felled during the construction of Cuttack-Paradeep road in 2010. Similarly 786 trees were cut during the construction of Banki-Cuttack road. The trees alongside NH-5 have been also removed.
The situation has worsened because of the illegal felling of trees alongside Cuttack-Chandokhole highways. There was no tree plantation programmes to compensate the loss in these areas.
The situation was also grim in the rural areas around the city. Large scale illegal felling of trees in the rural forests at Banki, Athagarh and Mahanga has been reported, with the Forest Department becoming a mute spectator.
Environmentalist Khokan Behura said planting was much less than felling of trees. Efforts should be made at both the Government and private levels to take corrective measures, he added.
When queried about the ‘Green City’ idea, Mayor Soumendra Ghosh said CMC was taking the plantation drives in the city seriously. Special programmes were being taken up to conduct plantation drives at different schools in the city, Ghose added.