Community outcry saves half-century-old trees from axe in Kaliganj

Community outcry saves half-century-old trees from axe in Kaliganj

Biswabrata Goswami

KRISHNAGAR, 22 JUNE: In a striking demonstration of community solidarity, residents of Vurulia in Kaliganj have successfully halted the felling of four half-century-old trees in their neighborhood. The trees, located in the fairgrounds of Vurulia Karbalatala para, were targeted for removal by the local fair committee earlier today. However, swift action by the villagers prevented further destruction.

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The incident occurred amid a broader tree planting campaign aimed at combating the intense heat and fire hazards that have recently plagued the region. The targeted trees, including massive tamarind and shirish varieties, play a crucial role in maintaining the local ecological balance. Besides offering substantial shade and cooling relief, the trees serve as a beloved communal gathering spot where residents seek refuge from the sweltering sun, children engage in sports, and annual fairs are held.

Early this morning, workers from the local fair committee began cutting down the trees, asserting they posed a danger and that the operation had received government approval. This action immediately drew the ire of the local populace. Alarmed by the sound of chainsaws, villagers rapidly assembled at the site, voicing strong opposition to the tree felling.

The protest quickly gained momentum, compelling the workers to cease their activity after only one tree had been felled. The situation drew the attention of the Kaliganj police, who promptly arrived at the scene. Responding to the villagers’ demands, the police ordered an immediate suspension of the tree cutting.

“We understand the community’s concerns and appreciate the importance of these trees to the local environment and social life,” stated a police official. “We have instructed the fair committee to halt any further actions until a thorough review can be conducted.”

The fair committee defended their actions by claiming the trees were hazardous and insisting that they had secured the necessary governmental permissions. However, faced with the overwhelming pressure from the villagers, they reluctantly agreed to pause their efforts.

Local environmental advocates praised the villagers’ swift response and underscored the vital role of mature trees in combating climate change and providing essential ecosystem services. “Cutting down these trees would not only disrupt the natural balance but also deprive the community of a cherished public space,” remarked one activist.

The confrontation at Vurulia highlights the ongoing tension between development initiatives and environmental conservation. As the tree planting campaign continues across the region, today’s events serve as a poignant reminder of the critical need to protect existing green spaces and the power of community action in safeguarding natural heritage.

Tags: #Kaliganj #EnvironmentalConservation #Tree #Bhurulia

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