17:33 / 29.07.2023

Media: Projects involving the cutting down thousands of trees in Bukhara and Surkhandarya will be altered

The Highways Committee was tasked with redesigning the project without damaging the greenery. Now the trees will not be touched, Kun.uz source in the government said.

Photo: KUN.UZ

Due to the planned road constructions in Surkhandarya and Bukhara regions, the projects involving the cutting of more than 50,000 trees and bushes will be changed.

A source in the government informed Kun.uz that the Highways Committee was tasked with a complete revision of the projects without harming the greenery. “No more touching the trees,” he said.

On July 27, the Ministry of Ecology confirmed that the government is considering such an issue. First Deputy Minister Obidjon Kudratov said at the press conference that the ministry was against this in response to the question of Kun.uz reporter.

“In addition to protesting, we have also written to the relevant authorities. Soon we will organize a public hearing in Surkhandarya and Bukhara. A decision will be made only after that,” he said.

On July 28, the Ministry of Ecology gave detailed information about the situation.

“On July 6, 2023, the Bukhara regional administration sent the 150-228 km long “Guzor-Bukhara-Nukus-Beyneu” section of the A-380 highway to the Ecology Ministry for approval. The project envisages transplanting 31 thousand 371 trees and bushes to nearby vacant lots.

At the same time, on July 7 of this year, in connection with the reconstruction project of the 128-174 km of the highway 4R-100 “Manguzor-Jarkurgan-Bandikhon-Oltinsoy-Denau” and the 5-70 km of the highway 4R-105 “Darband-Boysun-Elbayon”, the Surkhandarya regional administration asked for practical help in transplanting 21 thousand 803 trees in the prescribed manner.

For information: In accordance with the report No. 58 of the Government Commission of July 21, 2023, signed by the Deputy Prime Minister J.A. Khodjayev, the Ministry of Ecology, Environmental Protection and Climate Change was instructed to give a conclusion and make appropriate proposals to the Government Commission on moving trees without harming the environment within a week.

In a number of publications, the information (“... instructions to cut down 52 thousand trees”, “Cutting down about 70 thousand trees in abnormal heat”, “Abduhakimov was instructed to give a conclusion on the killing of 53 thousand 174 trees”) referred to the report of the Government Commission is incorrect. Directly referring to the report No. 58 of the Government Commission of July 21, 2023 (reported by journalists and bloggers themselves), we note that this document does not contain a single word about cutting down trees, as well as instructions on how to take any action with green spaces in such a hot season.

In response to these appeals, the Ministry of Ecology, Environmental Protection and Climate Change noted that crimes related to the destruction or damage to flora and fauna are included in the category of serious crimes; also, it refused, reminding that the role of these trees and shrubs is important in reducing the impact of dust and sand storms observed throughout our republic (the ministry attached copies of the letters).

After the official answers sent to the authorities, the representatives of the construction company from the Bukhara region visited the ministry and gave information about making changes to the project without harming the trees and bushes,” the official statement reads.

The Ministry noted that a new mechanism for considering such appeals was introduced by organizing a “public discussion” with the participation of mass media and public activists, as well as local residents on the issue of cutting down or planting trees.

“It should be noted that such requests are quite common when considering various investment projects. Naturally, the initiators of the project make proposals based on their own interests, and the Ministry of Ecology, on the other hand, gives its conclusion based on the interests of environmental protection and natural balance.

At the same time, the ministry expresses its gratitude for the active position of media representatives in protecting trees and maintaining ecological balance,” the Ministry of Ecology concluded.