Monday, April 16, 2012

India: Patna zoo may lose 2000 trees for airport expansion

PATNA: The Airport Authority of India (AAI) is surveying and marking over 2,000 trees on the premises of Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park under its expansion plan for the Jaya Prakash Narayan airport here. The AAI will send a proposal to the state government for cutting the identified trees creating problems in taking-off and landing of the aircrafts at the airport.

If the AAI got its proposal forwarded by the state government and approved by the Union ministry of forest and environment, the 2,000 trees above 25 feet of height would be uprooted. There are many precious and rare species of trees on the 15 acre land of the zoo.

"The trees are being identified and marked only. The zoo is governed under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980. It is a protected forest. The airport authorities will need the permission from the Union ministry of forest and environment for even scratching the trees," zoo director Abhay Kumar told TOI on Monday.

He, however, said the process would take. "Earlier the airport authorities had identified 3,700 trees to cut down for the safety of airplanes landing at the Patna airport," he said.

Director of Patna airport Arvind Dubey said, "Aircrafts taking off and landing at the airport face disturbances due to the thick vegetation around the airport area. The proposal for removal of trees has been pending for a long time and we want this change for the safe movement of flights. The survey is on to list the trees creating disturbances in the area."

The zoo has about 10,000 trees. Some of them, like patali, putranjiva, hijjal, terminaliya myriocarpa, heterophragma, kigalia pinnata, ficus and cassia javanica, are of rare varieties.

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