Image: File photographs of the tress felled on Jessore Road last year and Mamata Banerjee.
Kolkata: CHIEF Minister Mamata Banerjee has suggested that the trees that have been standing on both sides of Jessore Road in North 24-Parganas for over a century be relocated elsewhere to pave way for widening and construction of flyovers on the road.
She put forward the suggestion during an administrative review meeting at Rabindra Bhavan auditorium at Barasat yesterday evening. The suggestion comes in the wake of the Calcutta High Court and the National Green Tribunal imposing an embargo on the feeling of the tress.
“Tell the court that the trees will not be felled but will be relocated elsewhere. This can be done as due to the advancement in technology house buildings are being relocated from one place to another these days,” the Chief Minister told one of her party MLA, under whose constituency falls part of Jessore Road.
She also asked him to persuade those who have filed petitions in the High Court and the NGT. “Talk to them. Discussion and negotiation solve a lot many problems. Make them withdraw their petitions for the sake of development,” the CM added.
Jessore Road provides connectivity between Kolkata and Bangladesh via the Petrapole border post in North 24-Parganas. Bengal government last year mooted a plan to widen the road and build seven flyovers on the stretch between Barasat to Bongaon to smoothen traffic movements to Bangladesh for commercial gain.
To meet this end, some 4,000-odd trees were to be chopped off. In fact, some 200-300 trees were actually cut down in March-April last year. Although firm figures are not available, a rough estimate suggests that most of these trees are as old as 150 years.
The state government’s axe on the century-old trees came to a halt after some citizens of Barasat-Bongaon took legal recourse making the High Court granted a stay on the felling. The case was then transferred to NGT’s eastern bench in Kolkata, which also upheld the stay. The case is still pending. [READ: Noted Bengal singer Kabir Suman takes to Facebook against tree felling for road]