400 year old banyan tree saved after locals interrupt
Mumbai, July 25: A 400-year-old banyan tree that was to be chopped for a highway road project in Maharashtra's Sangli district has been saved after locals raised awareness of the matter on social media.
Taking note of this, Maharashtra Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray had requested Union Minister Nitin Gadkari to make changes to the project.
Thackeray later tweeted that his request was accepted.
Residents of Bhose village rallied around the tree whose canopy is spread over 400 sq m.
State Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray, on July 16, wrote a letter to Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari requesting for the tree to be saved by making changes to the Ratnagiri-Solapur highway which is on state highway 166 that pass through the village.
Thackeray tweeted on Wednesday that Gadkari had responded positively to the request.
Later the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) begun reworking on the realignment of the highway.
A senior official of the NHAI said, "A relook at the plan was done to save the tree. The main carriageway will require trimming some branches of the tree but changes will be made to the service road by making it discontinuous for about 20-25 m to keep the tree's trunk intact."
The 400-year-old tree, near a Yellamma Mandir, had a spread of nearly 400 square metres and had been a part of the history of the area as well as is home to many species of birds and animals.