President not spending new year in Andaman

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New Delhi, Dec 27 (UNI) Rashtrapati Bhavan has sought clarification from the Andaman and Nicobar Administration on a media report that trees were cut for making a helipad in the islands to facilitate the landing of the Presidential helicopter.

The President's office has also instructed the islands' administration to undertake compensatory plantation immediately if trees had in fact been cut, a Rashtrapati Bhvan spokesperson said today.

Ms Archana Datta also clarified that neither President Pratibha Devisingh Patil nor the President's family is spending the new year at the islands.

Further, Rashtrapati Bhavan has not sought cancellation of any room bookings of tourists in view of the President's visit to the islands as reported by a section of the media, the spokesperson clarified.

According to a media report, Ms Patil's Boxing Day helicopter-hopping across Andaman and Nicobar had cost the islands a few hundreds of trees. More than 400 trees were cut down in Port Blair to ensure a ''clear and safe'' stay for the President.

The report had quoted Andaman Express Editor K Ganesan to say that trees as old as 100 years were brought down.

UNI

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