The three disputed stretches of the proposed signal-free corridor from Mukarba Chowk to Wazirabad Chowk does not violate green norms, the public works department (PWD) has claimed in response to a petition being heard by the national green tribunal (NGT).
The petition has contended that no environmental impact assessment (EIA) had been done for the project.
In its affidavit, the PWD has told the tribunal that it has applied for the felling of 1,605 trees on the three disputed stretches covering areas such as Vikaspuri, Meera Bagh, Madhuban Chowk, Mangolpuri and Rohini. It claimed the secretary (environment and forests) had given his go-ahead for felling 1,476 trees.
The fate of these trees will, however, be decided on July 23 as the tribunal had ordered an interim stay on the felling of trees on the three stretches. It had also asked the forest department to study the project environmentally.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Sunday laid the foundation stone for the entire corridor. Addressing a gathering during the ceremony, Dikshit said, “The corridor will provide hassle-free and a fast link to Noida. This will benefit lakhs of commuters who travel on Outer Ring Road and those from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Jammu and Kashmir.”
The proposed corridor, being built at a cost of Rs 633 crore, will have four flyovers at Bhalaswa, Mukundpur Chowk, Burari and Jagatpur. Loops on both sides of flyovers and two bridges across the supplementary drain have been proposed.
Petitioner RL Mahunta claimed the project cannot proceed without an EIA clearance and that most trees the PWD wants to cut are not even in the project alignment.