Delhi govt aims to protect several trees from the effect of key central projects

Sources on Tuesday claimed that the Delhi government’s endeavours have significantly decreased the number of trees that will be harmed by the construction of the Executive Enclave, which will house the new Prime Minister’s Office, and the AIIMS redevelopment project

Photo: Getty

According to the sources, the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) and the State Expert Advisory Committee (SEAC) have attempted to reduce the impact of tree felling.

However, an engineer of the Central Public Works Department said no tree felling is involved in the construction of the Executive Enclave.

Around 300 trees have been saved and retained at the site. The number of trees to be transplanted saw a downfall from 630 to around 490, a source claimed.

Since their reconstitution last year, the two panels have been proactively taking initiatives to reduce the number of trees being affected by development projects in the national capital, the source said.

On a similar note, interventions by the SEIAA and the SEAC ensured that the user agency for the AIIMS redevelopment project preserved 1,064 trees at the location while developing buildings around it.

Currently, there are 5,575 trees at the site of the AIIMS redevelopment project. While 2,934 trees will be retained, 1,910 will be transplanted. A total of 731 trees will be felled.

The SEIAA granted environmental clearance to the proposal for the construction of the Executive Enclave last week.

The Forest Department had on 23 August granted permission to the Central Public Works Department to transplant 487 of the 807 trees at the site under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994.

The SEAC, which first looked at the proposal on 31 January, had expressed worry over the CPWD’s plan to remove an “excessively high proportion” of trees from the site.

Thereafter, the CPWD revised the proposal, decreasing the number of trees to be transplanted from 630 to 487 and increasing the number of trees to be retained at the site from 154 to 320.

As per the revised proposal for the Rs 1,381-crore project, the CPWD will maintain 1,022 trees at the site, so as to have one tree at every 80 square metre of plot area in line with the Union environment ministry guidelines.

Five buildings with a built-up area of 90,000 square metres will be constructed at the site after demolishing the built-up area of 47,000 sqm.

The redevelopment of the Central Vista is on its way to make a new Parliament building, common central secretariat, revamping of the 3-km Rajpath from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, new office and residence of the Prime Minister. It also includes a new Vice President enclave.

(With inputs from PTI)

 

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