The public hearing convened by the Forest Department seeking their opinion on felling of trees to pave way for new District Administration complex in Germen Press premises and state highway from Gun House to Madhuvana took ugly turn with participants holding unlike opinions entering into verbal duel.
The meeting, however, continued uninterrupted after Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) K Karikalan intervened. While social and environmental activists and opposed the government’s plan to come up with a new DC complex at the cost of 72 trees, a few participants had no issues with the construction of new building.
The state government has sanctioned 15 acres of land for the complex of which 2.5 acres of land will be used for the construction purpose. Karikalan said that as many as 72 tress have to be chopped down if the construction gets the green signal to facilitate the building works while tress at the front and back side of the building will be left untouched.
The office will be linear shaped on the lines of Lalith Mahal Palace wherein all the 28 district offices will be accommodated. There was no need for a new DC office complex here. Going on constructing new buildings wasn’t only a sign of development. Mini Vidhan Soudha has been constructed with the intention to accommodate government offices, but most of the rooms in the building are vacant, said one of the participants Banu Mohan. “The government is using our tax money for their personal gains on the pretext of development,” she added.
She and other participants stressed the point that no development should be allowed at the cost of trees as it could harm the environment and the well-being of people in the long run.
Participants also opposed the construction of new building citing the proximity to city as the concern. “The construction of DC office far from the city is unscientific. It will be difficult for the people coming from other taluks and villages to reach the office,” one of the participants Chetan said, while another participant suggested that the DC office should come up in the premises of Government Guest House which has enough space.
Participants also opposed the felling of 150 tress to facilitate the works on the state highway between Gun House and Madhuvana.
Karikalan concluded the meeting saying he would come up with a report based on the opinions and submit it to government in two days.