Mangaluru: More than 5,000 trees from Mangaluru to Sanooru will face axe to make road for the four-laning of the National Highway in the City. Environmentalists have expressed anger over the authorities’ decision and fighting for the survival of the trees.
National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is all set to take up four-laning of NH-169 between Kulashekara – Sanooru. More than 5,000 trees from Bikarnakatte to Sanooru have been identified for destruction. The area between Bikarnakatte and Mijaru is under the jurisdiction of Mangaluru Range Forest Officer. From there to Sanooru, the area is under the jurisdiction of Forest Officers of Moodabidri Range.
Trees on Government land in the area have already been identified. The trees in the private space are yet to be identified. The authorities have promised to green the highway after construction. We have no objection for the development but, they can saved the trees by shifting instead of cutting them in the name of development, voice activists. Otherwise, environmentalists are of the opinion that space needs to be allotted to plant new trees.
The Mangaluru – Karkala Highway, which was supposed to be widened by 60 metres has been restricted to 45 metres to save trees. The same model can be followed in the Kulashekara- Sanooru four-laning work as well. The authorities are yet to give a clear answer to the demand of environmentalists for conducting another survey to save the trees.
However, an official said, “we are considering whether to shift the trees or take any other action as per their demand.”