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We haven’t learned anything, have we? After Mumbai’s Arrey forest was chopped down, about 3.44 lakh trees in Jharkhand’s Palamau Tiger Reserve (PTR) will be wiped out at the decision of the water department. The wild experts have already raised an alarm. And all of this for the Mangal dam, which is also called the North Koel Project.

About two months ago, All India Tiger Estimation (AITE) results were declared which mentioned that there was no tiger in this particular reserve. But we cannot deny the fact that if the reservoir is constructed, it will threaten the existence of 3,44,644 trees.

image: source

According to an Indiatimes report, the water resource department was granted permission to cut the trees and for this purpose, a huge amount of Rs.461 crore has been deposited to them, claimed the department. Wildlife experts are already raising their concerns regarding this decision. 

Mukesh Kumar, who is the chief engineer of the water resource department, Daltonganj said to the news agency, “We have sought NOC from the forest department to begin several works including on forest land. Centre’s agency WAPCOS Pvt. Limited will execute the tree felling work.”

In 2017, the union environment ministry approved the diversion of 1,000 hectares of forest land just to revive the Mandal Dam, which will be possible by removing lakhs of trees in this “tigerless” reserve.  

Ex-state chief wildlife warden, Pradeep Kumar is not at all happy with the move and he believes that this decision of felling a large number of trees will affect the ecosystem of the tiger reserve. Talking to the press, he also said that due to the expansion of the state’s road and railway network, the reserve went through huge damage and the current decision of felling the trees will affect its biodiversity.