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Balanagar flyover to be constructed, HMDA to cut 34 trees and translocate 15

Balanagar crossroads

In view of the upcoming construction work of Balanagar flyover, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) has decided to take all possible measures to ensure minimal damage is done to the extensive green cover on the Balanagar crossroads to Narsapur crossroads stretch.

The engineering wing of HMDA has identified nearly 95 trees on the stretch out of which 15 trees are being translocated in Balanagar. The authorities said that nearly 34 trees have to be cut while the rest will be retained at the present locations. The decision of translocating and felling of the trees was taken only after the Tree Protection Committee comprising representatives from NGOs and forest officials gave its nod, a senior official from HMDA said.

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All possible measures, including realignment of the structure were explored to ensure minimal damage to the green cover in the locality. While, 15 trees are being translocated, 34 trees are being felled due to inevitable circumstances, he said. The 34 trees, whose height ranges between 1.5 metre and five metres, identified for felling do not support translocation and their survival rate is poor. The decision was taken after considering all these factors, he explained.

The trees identified for felling include Neem, Peltoform, Ashoka, Spathodia, Gulmohar, Suhabul, Rain tree, Bahunia, Tabubia and others while those that will be translocated include Raavi, Badam, Neredu and others.

A Central government organisation in the area has permitted plantation of these trees in their premises, the official said.

HMDA is roping in private agencies for translocation and felling of trees. Many factors like location, size, soil type, power cables, utilities beneath and others need to be taken into consideration for translocation and expert agencies are being roped in to take up the exercise.

All possibilities explored by Tree Protection Committee

Tree felling is the last option and many other possibilities, including realignment of the structure, were explored before approving tree cutting, says Veda Kumar, member of the Tree Protection Committee.

All the trees that were identified by the officials were inspected and those, which do not support translocation, were permitted to cut. However, HMDA will have to plant four to six four-year old trees in the locality for each tree cut, he explained.

“The committee will also inspect the progress of the new trees planted after few months,” said Kumar.

Balanagar flyover works at snail’s pace

It has been quite a while since former Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) Minister and TRS working president, KT Rama Rao laid foundation for Balanagar flyover works.

HMDA, however, is yet to start the works and has missed deadlines quite a few times. HMDA officials attribute the delay to land acquisition by Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.

“Even as the land acquisition process is under progress, we are taking up the structure works at the precast yard. Soon after the land acquisition is completed, these structures will be fixed at the site to expedite the construction and complete at the earliest,” said an official.

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