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No trees will be cut for redevelopment of Delhi neighbourhoods, says Union minister for urban affairs

The central government announced it was cutting over 14,000 trees for building over 25,000 flats for government employees in the seven neighbourhoods of south Delhi. The decision garnered heavy criticism.

delhi Updated: Jun 28, 2018 23:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi trees,Tree cutting drive in Delhi,Delhi green cover
A woman puts up a banner on a tree during the ‘Save The Tree Campaign’ in New Delhi on June 26, 2018. Residents of Delhi launched the campaign to save more then 16.000 trees to be cut for a redevelopment project. (AFP)

Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday said that no trees will be cut in the process of redevelopment of seven neighbourhoods in South Delhi.

“I have always maintained that the green cover in Delhi will not be damaged & steps will be taken to enhance it even further. As stated earlier, no trees will henceforth be cut in the process of redevelopment of Delhi colonies,” Puri wrote in a post on Twitter following a meeting he chaired with stakeholders including NBCC (India) Ltd.

The meeting, called to discuss the proposed cutting of trees in South Delhi, was also attended by Delhi lieutenant governor Anil Baijal, Delhi Development Authority vice chairman Udai Pratap Singh, NBCC chairman and managing director Anoop Kumar Mittal, Central Public Works Department (CPWD) director general Abhai Sinha and urban affairs secretary D S Mishra.

Puri said he had also directed NBCC and CPWD – the two agencies implementing the redevelopment project – to re-work the design and plans for the remaining redevelopment of the seven General Pool Residential Accommodation (GPRA) colonies to avoid cutting trees.

Some trees may be transplanted at some other locations. A statement issued by the ministry said NBCC had already invited expressions of interest for the acquisition of tree re-location/transplantation equipment and for engaging services of trained professional entities.

The government had announced that it would be cutting over 14,000 trees for building over 25,000 flats for government employees in the seven neighbourhoods of south Delhi. The proposal attracted heavy criticism from green activists, politicians and citizens. These neighbourhoods are Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Nauroji Nagar, Kasturba Nagar, Thyagraj Nagar, Srinivaspuri and Mohammadpur.

During the meeting, a decision was taken to plant more than one million trees, ranging from 8-12 feet in height, in different parts of Delhi with NBCC planting 25,000, CPWD 50,000, DDA planting 1 million and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation 20,000.

“The planting of trees will be completed in the next three months during the monsoon season and the trees will comprise fruit-bearing, flowering and other green trees,” Mishra said.

First Published: Jun 28, 2018 23:26 IST