Two days ahead of
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's scheduled visit to Balangir
district, a row surfaced on Sunday over alleged cutting of
trees to prepare a temporary helipad.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Balangir, Sameer
Satpathy said several trees were felled near the railway
station ground in the district to prepare a temporary helipad
without obtaining prior permission.
Satpathy added that an inquiry in this regard has been
Union Petroleum Minister and senior BJP leader
Dharmendra Pradhan, however, claimed that people who are
"afraid" of the prime minister's visit are trying to spread a
false campaign by "misusing" forest officials.
"Following the direction of the DFO, a team will visit
the site in order to ascertain the number of trees felled in
the area," said Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Babaji
Since the area happens to be under the jurisdiction of
the railways, an official of the East Coast Railways (ECoR)
said they are also conducting an inquiry into the matter.
"We are doing our own enquiry on the subject," Chief
Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of ECoR, J P Mishra said,
adding, preparation of such a helipad is the task of the
public works department (PWD) of the state government.
Pradhan added: "It is the local administration which
decides as to where the prime minister's helicopter will
Modi is slated to attend an official function where
he will launch a host of projects, besides addressing a BJP
rally in the western Odisha town during his visit.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)