435 Siri Fort trees face the axe
A chunk of Delhi’s Siri Fort forest may soon be lost forever. As many as 435 trees spread over 25 acres might be chopped to make way for badminton and squash courts for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which will prepare the courts, said it had obtained approval from the Environment Ministry and the ASI for felling the trees adjoining the fort wall.
In response to queries from HT, the office of DDA vice-chairman Dinesh Rai said construction of sport facilities in areas earmarked as ‘district green’ was permitted in the Master Plan of Delhi 2021.
Although the DDA said it would compensate by planting a larger number of trees elsewhere, experts said the better option would be to build the courts in a non-green area. “All that the DDA has to do is shift the proposed facilities to a 32-acre site nearby, given temporarily to the police for the 1982 Asiad. There are no trees there,” said K.T. Ravindran, dean of the School of Planning and Architecture.
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