On Saturday, many trees were felled in Naharlagun town. Many of these trees located along NH 415 were very old and had become iconic symbols of the state capital. The administration justified the decision to cut them, claiming that they had become a threat to motorists and security of the people living nearby. Perhaps they are readying for a four-lane road project. The second phase of the Itanagar-Banderdewa four-lane will pass through the heart of Naharlagun town. It is very unfortunate that often large-scale felling of trees has to be done for construction of infrastructure projects.
It has a massive environmental effect. In the rest of the country and the world, when trees are felled for development projects, the authorities come out with a roadmap on how they are going to compensate by planting new ones. Many times, the trees are just shifted and not felled. Here in Arunachal, no one bothers. Even in the construction of the first phase of the four-lane road from Chandranagar to Papu Hapa, large-scale felling of trees was done. But hardly anyone made a noise. The environment activists and the forest department seem least bothered. This is just an example of the state capital. Imagine how much destruction of forests is taking place across the state in the name of development. It does not mean that development should be stopped. However, there should be a proper roadmap of how they are going to compensate for destruction of forests. The environment and forests department needs to be more vigilant.