Nitin Gadkari: Cut trees only when project development is affected

Updated: Sep 12, 2019, 08:05 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari also said that a person should be made to plant 10 trees for every tree cut by him or her

Nitin Gadkari: Cut trees only when project development is affected
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari

Emphasing on the need for protecting the environment, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday trees should be cut only when the development of a project gets stuck.

He also said that a person should be made to plant 10 trees for every tree cut by him or her. His remarks came at a time when environmentalists are opposing the proposed chopping of over 2,600 trees in the suburban Aarey area in Mumbai to make way for a Metro car shed. Several Bollywood personalities and politicians have been extending their support to citizens opposing the axing of a large number of trees in a sprawling green belt in the city.

Also Read: Save Aarey movement: 3,000 protesters gather, say 'Buck FMC'

"I feel we should protect the environment and should touch the trees only when development of a project is stuck," Gadkari told mediapersons. Speaking on the Aarey issue, he said, "The government has given priority to tree plantation. Maharashtra has been allocated Rs 12,000 crore to Rs 13,000 crore from a fund." State Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar's plantation programme is the "biggest in the world", he affirmed. "The green cover has increased in Maharashtra. The talk of tree felling is being made because there is no alternative otherwise," the Union minister explained.

"The capital cost of a project is important and by opposing a project, don't make Mumbaikars pay for it," he justified. The capital cost of the Bandra-Worli sea link escalated to Rs 1,800 crore from the initial Rs 420 crore because of protests, he pointed out. "Punish a person by making him/her plant 10 trees for every tree cut," he said.

With inputs from PTI

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