At least 50,000 trees might have to be felled if the Goa government chooses to go ahead with three proposed infrastructure projects, a senior official said on Tuesday. The State Wildlife Board met under Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Monday evening on the issue, but no policy decision was taken, the official told PTI.
The proposed projects are expected to infringe on wildlife sanctuary areas, he added. The projects include doubling of South Western Railway track on Castlerock- Collem -Margao stretch in South Goa; four-laning of national highways over a distance of 13 km in Anmod-Mollem border area, and laying new transmission lines through Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary in Mollem, the official said.
He said at least 21,000 trees will need to be cut and 135 acres of forest land needs to be acquired for doubling of the South-Western Railway track. For four-laning of national highways, another 12,097 trees from protected areas will have to be chopped, he said. "A total of 33 hectares of forest and non-forest area will be diverted for the above project," the official said, adding that at least 16,000 trees on 48 hectares of forest land will have to be cut for laying new transmission lines.