New road threatens 3,000 trees
Source: Times Of India, Date: June , 2013
NEW DELHI: The Vasant Kunj
blunder by PWD, wherein its contractor had damaged many trees during a
road-widening project, is about to get repeated in Vikaspuri. For the
construction of an elevated corridor from Vikaspuri to Meera Bagh, the
residents allege that the civic body will chop off around 3,000 trees.
The work on the 3.3km long
elevated corridor, coming up at a cost of Rs 559.6 crore, started in
February-end. "Even though the trees are on the sides and the elevated
corridor in the
middle, PWD has dug up the sides and removed the soil around the trees
leaving the roots
exposed. The trees will eventually fall even after a light shower. This way,
the officials can say the trees fell on their own and they had nothing to do
with it," said Aditya Prasad, the one raising concerns over the project.
However, PWD officials say they
have got permission from the forest department to chop 785 trees and it is a
part of the project. "We wanted permission for 914 trees but got only for
785. Even the officials will not hack off trees unnecessarily. In fact, the
total trees to be cut will be less than the total number.
The residents are unaware of the
nitty-gritty of project and they believe that all the trees will be cut,"
said Raj Kumar
Chauhan, PWD minister.
But the residents have moved the
court against the PWD officials. "There is no protection for trees. One
department says they aren't cutting the trees while the other says they are.
They dig around the trees and wait for them to fall. We aren't against
development but it has to be without destruction of the green cover. The
saplings that they plant do not last as nobody takes care. Our forest department
is in pits. Similar thing had happened in Rohini Sector 13. It is very
disturbing to read such reports but it seems our government is not ready to
learn from Uttarakhand
tragedy. We have made PWD a party and we will not let them pass the
project," said Rajiv Dutta, senior advocate.
Though the residents are
protesting against the project, PWD minister assured that it will be completed
in the stipulated time and will be a breather for the commuters. Once the
project is completed, Outer Ring Road from Meera Bagh to Wazirabad will be
signal-free. "For cutting one tree, we will plant 10 saplings. Some of the
trees will be relocated. We had submitted the plan, we did submit
the locations where these 7,850
saplings will be planted. Even the elevated road and central verges will have
trees," said Chauhan.