Permission to cut, transplant 6,000 trees for third Ring Road in Delhi
The Delhi government has granted permission to National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to cut and transplant over 6,600 trees for the construction of Urban Extension Road-II, according to a notification by the environment department.
The notification issued by Delhi’s environment department on Monday said that around 4,365 trees will be transplanted, and 2,314 cut for the UER-II project by the NHAI. The trees will be cut and transplanted to make way for five stretches under the project, Delhi government officials said.
The four stretches (referred to as packages in the permission letters) covered under the project are NH-1 intersection to Karala-Kanjhawala road; Karala-Kanjhawala road to Nangloi-Najafgarh road; Nangloi-Najafgarh Road to Sector-24, Dwarka. Additionally, links to Sonepat bypass, and Bahadurgarh bypass will also be made.
The Urban Extension Road-II, also termed as the third Ring Road, which will connect four national highways ( NH-1, 10, 8 and 2) and provide seamless access between north, northwest Delhi and IGI airport and Gurugram. The Delhi government has earmarked an area of 36.45 hectares for construction of (UER)-II in five packages.
In December last year, the Delhi government notified the tree transplantation policy under which the construction agencies need to transplant at least 80% of the trees being removed for their project work.
According to the policy, 10 saplings are to be planted for each tree transplanted or felled, and the state forest department will maintain a record of applications approved for tree felling on its website.
“The benchmark tree survival rate at the end of one year of tree transplantation is 80 per cent. The final payment of the technical agency will be linked to the tree survival rate achieved with a provision for a penalty for tree survival rate below the benchmark rate,” the policy said.
Environment department officials said that in lieu of the trees that will be removed, the NHAI has been directed to plant 66,790 saplings of Neem, Amaltas, Peepal, Pilkhan, Gular, Bargad, Sheesham, Arjun and other native species at Aravali Biodiversity Park, Tughlakabad Biodiversity Park, West Delhi Biodiversity Park, Northern Ridge Biodiversity Park and the Yamuna floodplains.
The construction agency has also been asked to transplant the 4,365 trees “within the project site at vacant area UER-II along the road proposed to be constructed with their own funds”, the notification said.
UER-II was proposed in the Master Plan of Delhi 2021. The DDA, which had planned the initial project, couldn’t implement it due to land acquisition-related issues mainly in Kanjhawla, Najafgarh and other rural villages.
To decongest the city, especially the Ring Road and Outer Ring Road, experts say that it is important to develop road infrastructure in urban extensions so that traffic coming from north and northwest Delhi doesn’t have to take Ring Road to reach south Delhi or the Delhi airport.