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Dwarka expressway: Gadkari calls Kejriwal, discusses tree-cutting permission for early start of work

Senior officials also confirmed that Gadkari had called Kejriwal, and discussed several issues related to the construction work of the elevated road on the expressway, for which over 13,000 trees need to be either cut or transplanted.

gurgaon Updated: Nov 02, 2018 12:55 IST
Abhishek Behl
Abhishek Behl
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Dwarka expressway,felling trees for construction,trees cut down for expressway
A senior official said that Gadkari had met the Delhi CM, after meeting a delegation of Dwarka expressway residents, home buyers and commuters, who had called upon him in Delhi on Thursday(HT File)

Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari, on Thursday , held a discussion with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and raised the matter of expediting the process of acquiring the necessary permissions for felling and transplanting trees in the Delhi section of the Dwarka Expressway, a ministry official privy to the matter said. Senior officials also confirmed that Gadkari had called Kejriwal, and discussed several issues related to the construction work of the elevated road on the expressway, for which over 13,000 trees need to be either cut or transplanted.

A senior official said that Gadkari had met the Delhi CM, after meeting a delegation of Dwarka expressway residents, home buyers and commuters, who had called upon him in Delhi on Thursday. They apprised him of the problems being faced by them due to delay in completion of the highway project and also the lukewarm response from the Delhi government on issue of felling of trees, he added.

Earlier, the same group of residents had called upon Kejriwal on October 17 and transport minister Satyender Jain the following day to push for an early decision on the proposed felling of trees. They, however, seemed dissatisfied with the non-committal response from Delhi government, and even held a press conference last week accusing the AAP government of delaying the highway project.

However, the residents, on Thursday, said that the telephonic discussion between the two ministers was quite positive as the chief minister had reportedly shown positive intent towards the project.

“The union minister discussed with the Delhi CM the matter regarding the permission of transplantation and felling of trees on the project site. He also assured the residents’ group that the ministry was quick in its handling of the matter and that work had already started on packages 3 and 4 of the project,” said a senior ministry official, who was privy to the meeting.

It is worth mentioning that land earmarked for building the Dwarka expressway in Gurugram is ready to be transferred to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). However, the forest department of the Delhi government has been apprehensive of granting permission because of the presence of large number of trees, which must be felled or transplanted to make way for the elevated road.

The Dwarka Expressway project comprises four sections out of which packages one and two comprising 9.5 km road fall in Delhi. These two include an underground tunnel from Sector 21 underpass in Dwarka to Shiv Murti on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway for which the NHAI has sought permission to fell and transplant around 13,690 trees. NHAI officials maintain that without the removal of trees it is not possible to start on the construction work of the underground tunnel and surface road above it.

“We had gone to meet the transport minister and apprised about the delays in start of work in Delhi section as there was delay in resolving the issue of tree transplantation with the Delhi government. The minister gave us a very patient hearing and also called up the Delhi CM and discussed the matter with him,” said Prakhar Sahay, who has bought an apartment on the Dwarka Expressway.

First Published: Nov 02, 2018 12:55 IST