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Over 800 trees to be removed for building six-lane highway

Stage one approval has been given to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for the relocation of more than three hectares of Delhi’s protected forest land in order to build a six-lane, access-controlled highway connecting DND Maharani Bagh to the Jaitpur Pushta Road section of NH-148NA.

The 59-kilometre-long project is being taken up as part of the Bharatmala Pariyojana.

The DND Maharani Bagh section of the highway will run all the way to the currently under construction Delhi-Mumbai expressway. The first component of the project includes the section for which forest clearance was requested.

The forest land that is being redirected is situated in Okhla, Jasola, and Madanpur Khadar, which is in the southeast district. The region is governed by Delhi’s South Forest Division.

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change has given permission to remove 804 trees on the forest property that is being diverted.

The NTPC Eco Park in Badarpur will receive equivalent non-forest land for use in compensatory afforestation in place of the land that is being diverted, according to information provided to the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change by the Delhi government’s Department of Forest and Wildlife. The territory belonged to the Badarpur Thermal Power Station.

The Delhi Forest Department was previously informed in a message from the deputy inspector general of forests (central) that the proposed compensatory afforestation site is covered in fly ash.

The ministry has been notified by the forest department that the land was formerly used as a fly-ash disposal area and that before planting can begin, up to 2 m of the earth must be filled in.

The land where compensatory afforestation is being done must be transferred and changed to the forest department’s name before stage two approval. The user agency will thereafter receive ownership of the forest land.


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