‘Don’t give tree cutting permit for AIIMS revamp’
After activists expressed reservations about the AIIMS revamp project, Congress councillor from Andrews Ganj, Abhishek Dutt, has written to the Delhi government that the construction agency must not be given the nod to cut 315 trees for the new buildings.
In his letter to the forest department dated June 21, 2019, Dutt wrote, “With the increasing demand of urbanisation, the soft target in the city’s expansion are the trees, green belt and forests… ensure no tree cutting permission is granted by yourselves to NBCC at Ayur Vigyan Nagar. The forest department must hold out against all odds to preserve the trees of Delhi.”
The premier medical institute has roped in the National Buildings Constructions Corporation (NBCC India) to redevelop its Ayur Vigyan Nagar complex on August Kranti Marg to construct more flats for its staff.
In February this year, the project got the environmental clearance from the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change. NBCC India in a letter dated May 13, 2019, wrote to the forest department once again seeking permission for felling 315 trees.
The status of the permission sought is not known as the forest department was not available for comment.
Environmentalists have been opposing the project citing major problems in the procedure adopted by the government agencies in assessing its impact on environment and traffic situation in the area.
Kanchi Kohli, environment campaigner and researcher with the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), said, “The redevelopment of AIIMS housing colonies Ayur Vigyan and West Ansari Nagar is yet another attempt to commercialise public land in Delhi. The environmental approvals repeat all the problems related to inadequate tree assessments, pending water and traffic permissions and copy paste assessments. Delhi’s residents need much more regulatory seriousness and public scrutiny given the repeated failures coming to light.”
Despite repeated attempts, NBCC India officials couldn’t be contacted for a comment.
AIIMS plans to redevelop its housing complex as the structure is old and to accommodate more staff. Spread over 49.4 acres, the complex has 1,444 dwelling units. The plan is to construct close to 4,500 housing units with parking space for 6,367 cars. The project will cost ₹2,631.
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