BISWANATH CHARIALI, Dec 5 - Hundreds of trees of different species lined the National Highway 15 from Baghmari to Ratowa in Biswanath subdivision of Sonitpur
district. These trees were planted by the Department of Forests (Social Forestry) around 30 years back. The area came to be known as a �green corridor� among
the nature lovers of the subdivision. It provided shade to commuters who travelled along the NH 15 during the summer season.
But now all this is history due to the four-laning of the National Highway 15. Forest personnel of East Sonitpur Division have been engaged in �clearing�
both sides of the highway. Around 13,000 trees along the Jiabharali river and Gohpur are being felled, which has become a matter of grave concern for nature
They alleged that if the survey for the proposed four-laning works had been done keeping in mind the existence of the green strip by the government agencies
concerned, the trees could have been saved. They also maintained that the large-scale deforestation in the eastern part of Sonitpur would make a serious
impact on the ecology as the area has already been experiencing shortage of rainfall in recent years.
Small tea growers and potato and paddy cultivators are the immediate sufferers. The people of Biswanath said that development should not take place at the
cost of the environment.