The national news reporter The Hindu recently reported that over 1,000 trees felled in Orissa for the sake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit. The context was over the construction of helipad for PM’s visit.
The news was shared on January 13th 2019. The news said
Felling of over 1,000 trees for a temporary helipad for the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the western Odisha town of Balangir.The Hindu, Jan 13th 2019
Fake news peddler ‘The Logical Indian’ posted the news item.
To make things worse the article was shared more then 26,000 times.
Kalinga TV also reported the fake news but immediately removed from it’s website.
The news was widely shared on Social Media. Niranjan Patnaik, President, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee exaggerated the fake news by changing the number from 1000 to 3500.
Biswaranjan Mohanty added by quoting a link which intern quoted the Niranjan Patnaik’s statement.
NavuluriVRao with more than 23,300 followers on twitter shared it on twitter.
Reality : Zero trees were cut
In reality, less than 40 shrubs were cut down for the event.
The helipad was built on a barren land and not more than 40 shrubs were removed. Archived satellite images of the location of the helipad was obtained and compared with the current image. In reality the land area where helipad was built did not have any trees at the very first place. Videos of the area taken way before the helipad construction was obtained and compared. The location for helipad construction did not have any trees.
No tree cut to make helipad for PM @narendramodi Balangir visit, only a few scrubs removed, says a East Coast Railway spokesperson, January 7 video prior to helipad making shows there were no big tree on the spot pic.twitter.com/wscoXD99Tk— TOI Bhubaneswar (@TOIBhubaneswar) January 14, 2019
Times of India took this issue to the Eastern Railways. The railways have committed at least more than twice of the total number of shrubs cut down.
Clarification after revelation : The Hindu, The Logical Indian, The Outlook India or Orissa Post did not clarify the fake reporting. The political leaders who posted the fake news have not yet taken back their claims. Kalinga TV initially posted the news but immediately took it back.