Hyderabad: The Telangana government has cleared a proposal to cut down more than 1800 trees in the Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) to lay overhead power transmission lines by the Transmission Corporation of Telangana Limited (TRANSCO).
These trees are part of the Chilkur forest range and Mrugavani National Park on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
The ESZ area of Mrugavani National Park is not yet defined; however, the forest department has considered a 10kms of radius around the national park to be the default ESZ.
The proposal of chopping down the trees was discussed in a meeting held last month, which was convened by the regional empowered committee, Chennai, of the union ministry of environment and forests.
According to the minutes of the meeting accessed by The New Indian Express, “the power lines are to be laid from Kethireddipalli to TSPA Junction at a cost of 176 crore. Around 7 Ha of forest area must be cleared for the project. To compensate for the loss of forest area, afforestation will be undertaken over an area of 13 Ha under Mamidipally reserved forest at Gaganpahad.”The forest department told TNIE that as per TRANSCO, any other alternative route for laying power lines would require clearance of a larger forest area.
About Mrugavani national park
Located at Chilkur in Moinabad Mandal, Mrugavani National Park is at a distance of approximately 25 km from Hyderabad. Spread over an area of 850 acres, it is home a wide array of wild animals of 600 different species. It is especially known for the 350 plus spotted deers.
Mrugavani National Park was announced as a wildlife sanctuary by the Indian Government in the year of 1994, with the motive of preserving nature and wildlife in an undisturbed way without much human intervention, creating a suitable habitat for the fauna and flora to flourish, the Hyderabad Tourism website mentions.