Cut Trees Only when Project Development is Stuck, Says Union Minister Nitin Gadkari
His remarks came at a time when environmentalists have been opposing the proposed felling of over 2,600 trees in the Aarey suburban area to make way for a Metro car shed.
File photo of Union minister Nitin Gadkari. (PTI)
Mumbai: Stressing the need for protecting the environment, Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said trees should be cut only when the development of a project gets stuck. He also said that a person should be made to plant 10 trees for every tree cut by him/her.
His remarks came at a time when environmentalists have been opposing the proposed felling of over 2,600 trees in the Aarey suburban area to make way for a Metro car shed. Several Bollywood personalities and politicians have extended their support to citizens opposing axing of a large number of trees in a sprawling green belt here.
"I feel we should protect the environment and should touch the trees only when development of a project is stuck," Gadkari told reporters here.
Speaking on the Aarey issue, he said, "The government has given priority to tree plantation. Maharashtra has been allocated Rs 12,000 crore to Rs 13,000 crore from a fund."
State Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar's plantation programme is the "biggest in the world", he said. "The green cover has increased in Maharashtra. The talk of tree felling is being made because there is no alternative otherwise," the Union minister said.
"The capital cost of a project is important and by opposing a project, don't make Mumbaikars pay for it," he said.
The capital cost of the Bandra-Worli sealink escalated to Rs 1,800 crore from the initial Rs 420 crore because of protests, he pointed out. "Punish a person by making him/her plant 10 trees for every tree cut," he added.
Two days ago, Students of a Mumbai city college had written to British adventurer Bear Grylls, seeking his support to stop felling of trees in Aarey Colony. Joining hands with city-based KAASH Foundation, some students of St Xavier College here have written to Bear Grylls, requesting him to back the `Save Aarey' movement.
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