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Hyderabad: Tree felling for Formula E race tracks concerns citizens

The citizens found it particularly ironic that the trees were removed for tracks of Formula E which harps on sustainability, promoting electric cars to address the problem of air pollution. Many took to social media to vent their frustration.

Statesman News Service | Hyderabad |

Citizens and nature lovers in Hyderabad are upset after they found several trees chopped off on the picturesque NTR Marg adjacent to Hussain Sagar Lake to to make way for Formula E race tracks. The state government, however, maintained that it has translocated most of the trees to the nearby parks and the survival rate was 100 per cent.

The citizens found it particularly ironic that the trees were removed for tracks of Formula E which harps on sustainability, promoting electric cars to address the problem of air pollution. Many took to social media to vent their frustration.

“About 200 much loved Trees of Gold have been removed for Formula E race tracks on NTR Marg, Hyderabad. A mere 78 trees of gold have been left standing. This is tragic and ironical in a city that just won a green award. When will this madness stop?” posted Save Banyans of Chevella, a green organisation formed to save some century old banyan trees at the outskirts of Hyderabad which are under threat of being chopped for a National Highway project..

“Formula E was conceived to showcase the electrification of the automobile industry and how it is reducing carbon dioxide emissions by introducing hybrid and electric systems. It is deeply ironic that mature trees are being sacrificed to create a racetrack for Formula E,” wrote Natasha Ramarathnam on Twitter. She further asked: “200 trees destroyed to create the race track for Formula E to be held in Hyderabad next year. Is this the price we pay to showcase environmentally sustainable technologies?

However, after the outcry the state government said the trees were only being translocated.“The Federation International Automobile (FIA)has finalised 2.37 km track around Hussain Sagar Lake to host the first ever Formula E World Championship race in Hyderabad on 11 February, 2023. In this regard, certain trees are being translocated on Necklace Road,” posted Telangana Digital Media Wing.

In order to ensure a minimum track width of 12 meters around 600 metres wide road median is being removed on the stretch between Indira Gandhi statue and Tellugu Talli flyover. The route and curves have been modified thrice apparently to minimize tree translocations, especially the large trees.

“About two-thirds of the trees affected are small sized and another 30 per cent are medium sized and only about 10% (including Royal Palm trees) are large trees,” claimed the state government. Most of the trees have already been translocated in NTR gardens and Sanjeevaiah Park. The state government claimed that the survival rate of translocated trees was 100 percent.