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Posted at: May 23, 2019, 7:34 AM; last updated: May 23, 2019, 7:34 AM (IST)

Shoddy road carpeting stifles trees

CM Office marks inquiry to Principal Secretary after complaint by SBS Nagar residents
Shoddy road carpeting stifles trees
A tree the base of which has been fully covered with bitumen at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar Colony. Tribune photo

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 22

On the one hand the government has been exhorting people to plant more and more trees and increase the green cover to check environmental pollution, but on the other, shoddy road carpeting work at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, a colony developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) on Pakhowal Road here, has given quite a few full-grown trees a certain ‘slow death’ by laying premix carpet all around them, leaving no space for water intake.

Taking cognisance of a complaint lodged by the local residents, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) has marked an inquiry to the Principal Secretary, Local Government (PSLG), Punjab. Through an e-mail, the PSLG has been directed to take appropriate action as per the government rules under intimation to the CMO.

The complaint lodged with the Local Government Department, with copies to the LIT Chairman, the Director of Local Bodies and the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Local Government Department, Punjab, says in the course of laying premix carpet on the road adjoining to the main market in E Block of the colony, most of the trees (many of them full-grown) were covered all around with bitumen and concrete leaving no space for water seepage.

“Left in this state (without water), the trees will meet a slow but certain death,” maintain the complainants, Pran Bhatia, Arvind Sharma, Surinder Singh Grewal, Amarjit Singh, Balraj Chopra, Ritu and Atul Bittu.

Charging the field staff and supervisory officials of the LIT with gross negligence and scant care for conservation, the residents lamented that if the construction agency (contractor) was inconsiderate towards environmental concerns, the LIT officials including the SDO and JEs were guilty of criminal negligence by turning a blind eye to this blunder.

The area residents have sought a high-level inquiry into the poor workmanship in road work as well as immediate remedial measures to save a large number of trees which were providing much-needed green cover and ‘lungs’ to the colony. “At the same time, stern action should be taken against the contractor and the guilty LIT officials who have wreaked havoc on the environment by posing a threat to the trees,” the complainants demanded.

Trees will meet slow death: complainants

“Left in this state (without water), the trees will meet a slow but certain death,” maintain the complainants, Pran Bhatia, Arvind Sharma, Surinder Singh Grewal, Amarjit Singh, Balraj Chopra, Ritu and Atul Bittu.

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