While the state government has undertaken a program to plant millions of trees in the state through the Amrit Briksha Movement, several conflicting activities of the government have angered nature lovers, various organizations and the public. The government's plan to cut down thousands of trees on both sides of NH-17 in the name of widening the road has exposed its conflicting policies and two-faced character. Recently internationally renowned actor Adil Hussain and Director Rima Das along with many organizations urged the government not to cut the trees for road widening by using alternative measures. Cutting of trees was started from the July month but people from Goalpara and Kamrup district protested against this, so at that time tree cutting was stopped. But recently from 02 November again it started and now again people of the area are frustrated.
The 17th National Highway expansion work has also started in full swing in Boko, Kamrup district. Therefore valuable, rare trees cut down on both sides of NH-17 under the Boko area which are Sakhati, Bondapara, Rajapara, Sukuniapara, Singra area. Dimbeswar Das from Singra alleged that the NH could have been widened without cutting down the valuable trees along the highway. "We need development but we also don't want nature to be destroyed." Dimbeswar Das also said, "The trees have been providing shade to the passers-by for so long. Similarly, the NH-10 was adorned."
Meanwhile, The West Kamrup Divisional Forest Officer Dimpy Bora said, "15,000 trees under the West Kamrup Division will be cut down for the widening of NH-17 in Kamrup District but only 3,000 trees have been ordered to be cut down so far."
DFO Dimpy Bora also added, "There are no directives to cut down trees in the reserved forests. In addition, roads will be ensured for elephants at three places under the West Kamrup Forest Division."
On the other hand, Tridip Rabha, a local youth from Singra, who together with several locals uprooted an Indian gooseberry tree along NH-17 with the help of an excavator and planted it along the public playground. Tridip Rabha told reporters that not only Indian Gooseberry trees but also many other trees with medicinal properties could have been uprooted from the roadsides and replanted in nearby places if the government had goodwill. There is nothing special about this, he said.
There are 8,726 shal trees on both sides of the 28 km road from Dudhani to Dhupdhara under the Rangjuli Forest Office. Similarly, 8,821 trees will be cut down in the forest area under Krishnai Middle Regional Forest Officer's Iron Office and 444 trees in the forest area under Goalpara Forest Office. Furthermore, there will also be from NH-17 in Paikan to NH-217 to Meghalaya, the shal trees on both sides will also be cut down till Assam's Kukurkata area. In total, about 18,000 trees will be cut down in the name of widening the NH in the Goalpara district
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