The below article dated July, 11 is from a National newspaper about the ongoing controversy concerning the deforestation of trees along the Arunachala Girivalam Pathway.
The article reads:
“Despite by the stay order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against felling of trees along the Girivalam for the road widening project, the young trees, sacred grooves saplings and branches of-grown trees have been continuously facing the axe.
On Saturday night, two well-grown trees Forest Flame and Villam adjacent to Chandra Lingam were uprooted using an earthmover by the contractors on the Girivalam path. The uprooted trees were found dumped in Sriharam Lake.
Advocate and petitioner in the case P K Dhananjeyan said that he spotted the contractors uprooting the young trees and clearing the shrubs on the stretch at about 8 pm on Saturday.
He intervened and questioned the contractor for carrying the works despite the NGT order and District Collector's order. In the meantime, the environmental activists also reached the spot. Sensing the situation, the contractor and workers winded up the work.
'Though the workers tried to cover up the illegal felling of the trees, we searched and found the uprooted trees dumped in Sriharam Lake near the Girivalam path today (Sunday) morning," said Dhananjeyan.
The Collector, after conducting an inspection along the path on last Monday, said that the work along the Girivalam path should be stopped. Contradictory to the Collector's statement, the work has been still going on.
Calling the act of the contractors as a total disregard for the NGT order, activist Kumar Ambayeram of Tiruvannamalai said that the State Highways have been destroying the ancient and native forest in the name of the development project. "Several hundreds of the trees, sacred grove and shrubs were destroyed under the disguise of clearing the bushes by the officials. They are continuing the work and causing irreparable damage to the ancient forest,' he said.
The drainage laying work is still in progress. The contractors have been digging up the pit to a depth of five to six feet and pouring the concrete mixture. In the process, they have knocked down several young trees and caused severe damage to the roots of the trees.”