New Delhi: Only 22 heritage trees had to be relocated because of the Central Vista Avenue redevelopment project, the government educated Parliament on Friday. The redevelopment project of the Central Vista — the power corridor of the nation — includes the redecorating of the three-km-long Rajpath from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate. It also visualizes a new triangular Parliament building, a Common Central Secretariat and new residences for the prime minister and the vice president.
Replying to an inquiry in Lok Sabha on the relocation of trees to the Badarpur Eco-Park, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav stated according to reports obtained from the Central Public Works Department, “only 22 number of trees have been removed from the Central Vista Avenue to the eco-park, Badarpur, and there is no other proposal to relocate trees from the Central Vista Avenue to Badarpur”. He said there is a proposal to plant 10 seedlings for every tree uprooted or relocated, and the compensatory plantation will be performed at the Badarpur Eco-Park, Badarpur.
On another inquiry on census of trees, Yadav stated, “As per available reports, no tree census has been held in the recent past.” “Anyhow, the Forest Survey of India (FSI) executed a sample plot based on a regular inventory of trees in forests and outside forests in the country under its National Forest Inventory Programme,” he said. On the evidence of information collected growing stock — stems and volume of wood — values are generated at the national and state levels, he told Lok Sabha in a written reply. To a question about the survival rates of removed trees and reports of existing and ongoing survey that supports relocation, Yadav told the Indian Council for Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun, had done a study on tree translocation in India last year and it has submitted a detail to the ministry. “There is no further research under the ICFRE at present in this regard,” he said. The Centre had earlier scrapped reports that several jamun trees, nearly 100 years old, could be uprooted as a part of the Central Vista project, and had asserted that the overall green cover will increase.
In May, the Union housing and urban affairs ministry had mentioned that only a few trees will be relocated as part of the scheme. The environment ministry has already approved clearance for expansion and renovation of the existing Parliament building, which is a part of the Rs 13,450 crore Central Vista redevelopment project. The erection of the prime minister’s residence under the ambitious project will be completed by December 2022, the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) had briefed a central government appointed expert panel, which has given its clearance to the project. The CPWD, the project developer, informed the expert appraisal committee (EAC) that the extension of Parliament building and construction of new Parliament building will be done by November 2022 and the prime minister’s residence will be erected by December 2022.
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