Panel to decide on request to dump waste in Ridge
The Ridge Management Board (RMB), which met on Friday after a gap of two years, approved the proposal for a 3.5km portion of the Delhi-Alwar corridor, of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS), to pass through the Delhi Ridge,a protected area where non-forest activities are banned.
The board, however, deferred the approval of Delhi Metro’s Aerocity-Tuglakabad corridor, which had sought permission for a 5.5km of the Metro Phase 4 corridor to pass through the Ridge.
The proposed Delhi-Alwar corridor of the RRTS had sought permission to take a portion of the underground section through the Aravalli Biodiversity Park. Officials who attended the meeting said the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), the agency responsible for the construction of the RRTS corridor, assured the Board that since the section is underground, trees and ecology of the Ridge will not be disturbed.
“RRTS is an environment friendly project, which is being designed to reduce pollution and traffic congestion in the National Capital Region. We are committed to preserving the ecology of the Ridge and therefore, strategically no stations, structures or installations have been planned inside the Ridge area,” NCRTC said in a response to HT.
It further said, “The 3.65km of Delhì-Gurugram-SNB RRTS section between Munirka and Aerocity stations will pass through the Ridge via underground tunnels at an average depth of approximately 20 metres (about six floors) in such a manner that there will be no impact on the ecology of the Ridge area. Only two ventilation cum emergency evacuation shafts essential for the safety of commuters are planned in locations where there are no trees.”
An official who attended the meeting said, on condition of anonymity, “There were 18 projects listed in Friday’s agenda and most of them were cleared. They included the RRTS project because the corridor was underground and did not impact the Ridge. The Board has decided to keep the matter of the Metro corridor on hold for a month.”
In Phase 1 of RRTS, comprising 107km from Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi to SNB Urban Complex (Shahjahanpur-Neemrana-Behror), 22.5km will an underground network in Delhi, of which 3.5km is proposed to go through the Ridge.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) in its request sent to the forest department in 2019 had stated that for this corridor, a total of 5.55km would fall in the Ridge, of which 20083 square metres was in Mahipalpur (Ridge area), 16,992 sqm was near Indira Gandhi National Open University (morphological Ridge), 11600sqm was in Anandmaye Marg (southern Ridge) and another 2,200 sqm also in the southern Ridge.
The DMRC said 8,005 sqm will be utilised to create permanent structures, while the remaining 42,870 sqm will be used temporarily during the construction work and will be returned to the forest department once the section is complete.
However, in another letter sent by DMRC to the member secretary of the Board in March 2020, the total Ridge area required was increased to 82,426 sqm, of which 14,324 sqm was to be kept permanently for entry/exits, ancillary buildings and shafts etc, while the remaining 68,102 sqm was to be “restored back after project completion”.