An expert committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal , has asked the Public Works Department (PWD) to consider changing its design for an elevated road project in west Delhi.
The changes are likely to save many trees proposed to be felled for three elevated roads — Vikaspuri to Meera Bagh, Mangolpuri to Madhuban Chowk and Madhuban Chowk to Mubarka Chowk.
The secretary (environment and forests) had allowed the PWD to fell 1,476 trees for this 12-km stretch on Outer Ring Road. “The area is highly polluted and densely populated.
The only green cover is the trees where the project has to come up.
This green cover reduces the heat coming from the concrete jungle and absorbs highly toxic pollutants (from vehicles),” the committee has said in its report.
The committee, comprising Delhi’s conservator of forests Suneesh Buxy, environmentalist CR Babu and Paramjit Singh of the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, said: “Maximum trees should be saved. This can be done by reducing the planned width of the existing (surface) road. Most trees facing the axe are on both flanks of this road.
“The existing bus bays have to be shifted. But they should be shifted where no or minimum trees exist. The PWD should reexamine its layout of the existing road, service lanes, footpaths, green belts and bus bays so that maximum possible trees can be saved,” they said.
These three roads are part of a bigger project to make the entire Vikaspuri-Wazirabad stretch signal-free by constructing several flyovers and elevated roads.