|Early Times Report|
Jammu, Nov 19: In the eco-sensitive Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir the proposed multipurpose project over river Ujjh in district Kathua would cost the lives of over 2 Lakhs trees as per a rough estimate.
The proposed cutting of over 2 Lakh trees is likely to affect the environmental health of the state, which has been witnessing increase in air pollution level as well as water.
Sources in the department informed Early Times that as per initial estimates, over 2 Lakh trees would be felled from over 11 compartments of Forest department. "A vast forest cover is likely to be perished in the Ujjh Multipurpose project with a total estimated capacity of 186 Mega watts of power generation", sources said, adding that over 600 hectares Forest cover is likely to perish under the project, which has dense forest cover.
"The Forest department usually calculated the number of trees, with over 10 centimetres of diameter while the saplings are rarely counted", an expert said, adding that the number of grown trees was estimated to be over 2 Lakhs but the saplings usually outnumbered the over grown trees in any forest area.
With the cutting of such a vast number of trees as large forest cover would diminish in the area, which would prove detrimental for the health of Jammu's environment. "The proposed High Court complex in Raika Forest area is likely to consume the lives of over 2.5 Lakhs trees and with another such project, a vast forest cover will disappear", the official said, adding that though the projects were important but not at the cost of the environment, which was most precious for existence and New Delhi's worst pollution scenario was one such case.
Divisional Forest Officer Billawar, Vivek Modi said that 11 compartments of the Forest department have been coming under the project but so far exact number of trees has not been calculated. "Dense forest cover is there at the site, so the department had taken help from other wings to calculate the number of trees as the project is of national importance", he said, adding that it would take some over 20 more days to complete the survey.