Around 3500 trees are to be cut down in Delhi, to construct an 8 lane highway. India is already one of the most carbon positive countries around the globe. In recent news, it has also come to the knowledge that out of the 15 most polluted cities in the world, 15 cities are from India.
As per the reports, the National Highway Authority of India(NHAI), will be cutting down 3,490 trees in the country, to make way for an 8-lane Delhi-Panipat Highway (NH-1). This information was released after an appeal was filed by RTI in this regard by Shubham Khatri, an environment activist. The report released also suggested that the construction of this highway, do not necessarily require cutting down so many trees. The work could be completed without affecting the environment.
To compensate for the loss to natural heritage, the contractors have already deposited Rs. 17 lakh to the Forest Department. Further, the National Highway Authority has tried to compensate the same by paying a sum of Rs. 55.62 Crores to the Forest Department.
The highway is approximately 70 Kms long-only which will connect Mukarba Chowk in Delhi to Panipat in Haryana.
But do you think that paying a sum of money will be able to compensate for the loss caused to the environment? On one end, people are trying to fight climate change and global warming by running multiple campaigns. Cities have started to run out of groundwater due to disturbed rain cycle while some people have the privilege to manipulate with environmental resources to make their businesses run.
Not only this, on June 2018, National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) India has sought permission to cut down around 14000 trees in Delhi for development of various projects. This resulted in a protest at a large scale among people who are concerned about nature.
The same corporation has recently asked for another permission to cut-off around 1955 trees in Sarojini Nagar and Subhash Nagar. However, the same request has been turned down by the department.
Also, the government has been planning to axe down 53,467 mangroves which are being considered as a hurdle in the so-called “Dream Project” of many politicians, the Mumbai-Ahemadabad Metro AKA Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR). The mangroves cutting will majorly affect the environment of Gujrat and Maharashtra States.
The metro project involves a forest land area of 137 hectares of which 131 hectares are Maharashtra and 6 hectares in Gujrat. In spite of the heavy loss to the environment, the government aims to complete the project by the end of the year 2022.