Widening of highway

Hundreds of trees axed, but no sapling planted so far

FAZILKA: As many as 681 trees have been axed to widen National Highway no. 7 near Fazilka.

Hundreds of trees axed, but no sapling planted so far

Road widening underway in Fazilka. Tribune Photo

Praful Chander Nagpal

 

Fazilka, January 12

As many as 681 trees have been axed to widen National Highway no. 7 near Fazilka. Sources said the trees had to be felled to widen the highway from Rampura village to the border road railway crossing near the BSF headquarters to four lanes. A major part of the process has been completed.

These trees include old eucalyptus, neem, sheesham etc.

The Rs 16-crore widening work project is being undertaken by the PWD after getting approval from the Forest Department. “The work will be completed by March 31,” said KJS Brar Executive Engineer, PWD.

The sources said the PWD had paid Rs 77 lakh to the Forest Department against the approval for felling the trees. But not even a sapling was planted by the Forest Department against the trees axed. “Saplings would be planted soon after receiving permission from the higher authorities,” said Indraj Siag, Forest Range Officer.

The highway is of strategic importance in the border areas as hundreds of visitor daily visit JCP Sadiqi and the Asafwala War Memorial. The District Administrative Complex, a government college and BSF headquarters fall on this stretch. The road also leads to Abohar town and subsequently to Rajasthan.

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