Felling of trees, reckless construction take away Palampur’s beauty : The Tribune India

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Felling of trees, reckless construction take away Palampur’s beauty

Green belt declining, concrete jungles taking over

Felling of trees, reckless construction take away Palampur’s beauty

The stump of an axed tree in Palampur. file



Ravinder Sood

Palampur, May 14

Palampur, a picturesque tourist destination regarded as the “tea town” of the state, is losing its glory by the day, thanks to the apathy of the Palampur Municipal Corporation and the Town and Country Planning Department (TCP), which have allowed unplanned and unregulated growth of this historically rich town. Haphazard construction of shops, houses and roads is going on unchecked in various parts of Palampur.

NGOs move high court

  • Various voluntary organisations and environmentalists have lodged serious protests against the authorities for the reckless felling and lopping of trees in Palampur.
  • Several NGOs fighting against environmental degradation have moved the High Court to save the green cover of the town, calling for a complete ban to be imposed on the felling of trees.

It seems that no authority exists to streamline construction activities. A number of shops, houses and other buildings have come up in areas under the jurisdiction of the MC without the approval of the corporation or the TCP. Interestingly, no action has been taken against the defaulters by the MC and the illegal constructions seem to thrive.

Many influential persons seem to have been “given the nod” by officials of the MC to go ahead with illegal constructions. As these constructions go unchecked, Palampur continues to face serious environmental threats, with the green cover of the picturesque town progressively declining.

In the absence of any check on the felling and lopping of the trees, the town is witnessing a steep decline in the number of deodar trees, which are often deemed the beauty of the town. In the last decade, several trees of different varieties have been either axed or pruned. Palampur was once blanketed with a dense green cover. However, today, trees are being chopped recklessly in many areas of the town. As concrete jungles replace real ones, most government agencies have become mute spectators.

Unfortunately, no official of the administration has initiated serious steps to preserve the greenery of the town. No efforts have been made to plant new trees or save the existing ones amid the large-scale urbanisation currently taking place in the town.

The MC and the TCP seem to have failed miserably in checking the constructions in the green belt. In many areas, new construction has come up in the green belt — in violation of the TCP norms. The municipal corporation has also failed to keep a check on the stray cattle and dog menace in the town.

The population of stray dogs is on the rise due to the corporation failing to initiate steps for the sterilisation of stray dogs. It is pertinent to note that in the last three years, over 50 dog bite cases were reported in several parts of the town.

Similarly, there has been an uptick in the number of stray cattle in the town.

Despite stray cattle roaming the streets of the town, a cow shelter set up by the Animal Husbandry Department at Nagri an year and a half ago is yet to be made operational.

#Palampur


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