Delhi: Over 5,100 trees proposed to be felled for construction of highway

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Image Source : (PTI FILE PHOTO)

A view of trees in the vicinity of the Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi. 

Over 14 hectares of forest land in the east and northeast Delhi having 5,104 trees is proposed to be diverted for the construction of a stretch of a six-lane highway.

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has sought permission from the Delhi forest department for the development of a 14.75-kilometer stretch of the six-lane access-controlled Delhi-Saharanpur highway, according to officials. There are a total of 5,104 trees on the stretch between the Akshardham NH-9 junction and the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border, a forest department official said.

“An inspection was conducted last month. The user agency skipped some trees during the counting and they have been asked to consider them too,” he said. The official said the NHAI is yet to provide land for compensatory afforestation.

The tree species include Sheesham, Sahtut, Peepal, Champa, Ashok, Subabul, Neem, Eucalyptus, Kikar, Ber, Jamun and Gular.

The Rs 1,500-crore project is part of Phase I of the Bharatmala Pariyojana, the second-largest highway construction programme in the country under which 50,000 km of roads will be constructed.

“The project falls in deemed forest land and diversion of this deemed forest land is unavoidable,” the proposal read.

The central agency has also sought permission for the diversion of 0.35 hectares of forest land for the construction of a six-lane access-controlled highway from DND Maharani Bagh to the junction with Jaitpur-Pushta Road section of NH-148.

A total of 191 trees, including Beri, Neem, Peepal, Sahtut and Siras, are proposed to be translocated during the construction work. 

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