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PTI Balangir
Updated: 13-01-2019 23:12 IST

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

Charan Raul.

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.)