Thu, 28 Aug 2003

More trees felled, Bandung heats up

BANDUNG: The West Java capital of Bandung is getting hotter and hotter, as at least two trees are cut down every day to clear the way for development projects.

Djaja Sunarya, head of infrastructure maintenance division at the Bandung parks agency, said on Wednesday that shopping center, hotel and street expansion projects had caused the loss of many large trees.

"During the July-August period, at least 108 trees were cut down for those projects," he told a press conference, and that most were Angsana trees aged around 12 years.

Djaja said local authorities would need to cut down at least 300 aging flamboyant trees and replace them next year.

He said many of the trees felled this month were an inevitable consequence of road expansion projects in the areas of Pasirkaliki, Eyckman, Sukajadi, Talagabodas, Turangga and Padjadjaran.

"Currently, there are about 650,000 trees in Bandung. But the number is extremely far from the ideal (of at least 1.25 million trees) to fulfill the residents' need for oxygen," he said. -- JP