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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Delhi: Smriti Vatika trees will not be felled, says govt

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 21, 2013
First Published: 22:40 IST(21/8/2013) | Last Updated: 00:50 IST(22/8/2013)

The Delhi government on Wednesday assured that no trees planted by residents in memory of their loved ones at south Delhi's Smriti Vatika will be axed.

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The government, however, also assured that the plan of setting up a proposed waste water treatment plant at the 25-acre park would also not be shelved.

Hindustan Times had on July 30 carried reports that residents of colonies adjoining Smriti Vatika feared losing the trees that they had planted in memory of their loved ones as the Union urban development ministry toyed with the idea of constructing a petrol pump in the Vatika.

The L&DO had asked the Delhi government, which was building a waste water treatment plant, to vacate the plot. However, that will not happen now, which is good news for the environment.

The waste water plant is supposed to treat waste water from a nearby drain and in turn water trees in the park. 

SD Singh, chief executive officer of the Delhi Parks and Garden Society said the L&DO has assured them that no trees would be felled. “Only three of them would be translocated. We will leave an area of 90 feet from the main road and shift our treatment plant slightly," he said.

"We will start work on the plant soon after monsoon. It's a win-win situation for the L&DO and Delhi government as well as those who have planted trees in the area." The DPGS comes under Delhi government's environment department.  

Sources in the L&DO hinted that there was a fresh proposal to shift the petrol pump to another location.

The Delhi government takes Rs. 1,150 - a one-time payment - for maintaining each memorial sapling on the land owned by the L&DO.

People from colonies such as Moti Bagh, Vasant Vihar and Satya Niketan and even from other states have been planting memorial saplings at the south Delhi park since 1985.

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