NOIDA: The Noida Authority has decided to plant 5,000 trees of various varieties like , jamun, tamarind and pilkhan which grow fruits and offer shade in place of the 3,000 eucalyptus trees in the 75-acre land earmarked for a park in Sector 91. The horitculture department of the Authority also claimed that saplings of 500 neem trees would also be planted near the park’s boundaries within a week.

Earlier, a few environmentalists had claimed that felling of 3,000 eucalyptus trees was illegal despite the forest department claiming that the trees became mature years ago and were due to be cut 15 years ago.

According to Noida Authority’s department, the landscaping of the eco-park including layered grass plantation would be completed soon and the department would also plant one lakh shurbs.

Rajvinder Kumar, deputy director, horticulture incharge of the Sector 91 eco-park said: “Work will start from the coming week. Initially, plantation work has been slow, but we plan to employ 50-60 labourers every day to complete the entire plantation within six months. Most tree saplings will be above seven feet height. They will become full-grown trees giving shade within two years.”

Meanwhile, some residents of Sector 93B and 92, in the vicinity of the eco-park, welcomed the Authority’s measures.

“We have been consistently writing to both the Authority and the forest department to remove the eucalyptus and implement the plan for an eco-park. It has been a long-standing problem as the forest area was either used as a burial ground for dead pets or just for miscreants to take refuge. We are happy that the eco-park is finally being created. The regional variety of trees that are going to be planted will be of huge benefit to the the entire city,” Akhilesh Tiwari, a resident of Grand Omaxe, said.

On similar lines, Tarvinder Kaur, a resident of Sector 92 said, “We’re happy with Noida Authority’s move. While a lot of people are anxious about cutting of trees, they should be made aware of the adverse effect eucalyptus can have on Noida’s water table. We’re environment-conscious residents and are looking forward to neem, jamun and mango trees in the park which would improve the of the area manifold.”

Earlier, the forest department had clarified that two neem trees had been wrongly felled by the tree cutters and that it had launched legal action against responsible for it.

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