Hyderabad: The Roads and Buildings Department (R&B) resumed the tree felling at Nallagandla notwithstanding protests by the residents.

Amid lockdown, the residents are trying to reach out to the officials and get tree felling halted.

The trees are being cut as a part of the road widening project from Tellapur Junction to Edunagupally.

“In the morning some residents shared pictures in Save Nallagandla Trees WhatsApp group. Later the members forced them to stop the work. We noticed that they have marked 44 trees for felling,” said Tejasvi from South Asian People’s Action on Climate Crisis (SAPACC).

Earlier in November, the tree felling was stopped after people formed a Human Chain. Tree Protection Committee (TPC) had said that it will give representation to the citizens before taking any decision on felling trees for a road extension.

“On January 23, there was a meeting of TPC, but we were not invited. When we enquired from the contractors, we were surprised to know they were asked to complete tree felling by April,” said Bharath Dantuluri from Disha collective, an organization working for the protection of the environment.

Forest officials have informed the residents that the R&B department cannot cut trees as the permission has expired.

“As of now, we have stopped them. Officials have assured us that they will hold a meeting,” Dantuluri said.

Tejasvi noted that the officials have told them that the road widening would be beneficial for the people. “We have some other issues like drainage and potholes which need immediate attention”, he said.

Similarly, GHMC also started construction of a road by destroying a parkland in the HUDA enclave of Jubilee Hills amid lockdown. The residents have currently got a stay order from the court.

Aiswarya Sriram

Aiswarya Sriram is a budding multimedia journalist and is currently working for NewsMeter. A graduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, Aiswarya has earlier worked with The Logical Indian and has interned with Republic TV. Aiswarya, a Tamilian who was born and brought up in Mumbai, loves to do rural reporting. She has visited Byadgi Taluk of Karnataka, to write about the issues faced by chilli factory workers there, earlier in 2019. A craft enthusiast, Aiswarya also does quilling, painting and glass work. On her off-days, she loves to read crime-thrillers and watch anime. She primarily reports on civic issues, GHMC, human-interesting features, and fact-checking video stories.

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