A section of a six-lane highway is proposed to be built over almost 14 hectares of forest area in the east and northeast Delhi having 5,104 trees.
According to authorities, the National Expressway Authority of India (NHAI) has applied to the Delhi Forest Department for approval to build a 14.75-kilometer stretch of the six-lane access-controlled Delhi-Saharanpur highway. As per a forest department official, there are 5,104 trees in the stretch between the Akshardham NH-9 junction and the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh boundary.
Last month, an inspection was carried out. During the counting, the user agency overlooked a few trees and they have been instructed to take these into account as well. The NHAI is yet to allocate land for compensatory afforestation, the official added.
Sheesham, Sahtut, Peepal, Champa, Ashok, Subabul, Neem, Eucalyptus, Kikar, Ber, Jamun, and Gular are among the tree species. The Rs 1,500-crore project is part of Phase I of the Bharatmala Pariyojana, the country’s second-largest highway development initiative, which would see 50,000 kilometres of roads built. ‘The project falls in deemed forest land and diversion of this deemed forest land is unavoidable,’ the proposal read.
The central agency has also requested permission to divert 0.35 hectares of forest land from DND Maharani Bagh to the junction of NH-148’s Jaitpur-Pushta Road segment for the building of a six-lane access-controlled highway. During the building process, 191 trees, including Beri, Neem, Peepal, Sahtut and Siras, will be translocated.