01-Feb-2023  Srinagar booked.net


NHAI Chops More Than 1.10 Lakh Trees Of Chinar, Walnut For Road Project

Over 1,200 more trees will be chopped down in the coming days to build the new tarmac around Srinagar



Photograph By Basit Zargar

More than 1.10 lakh trees of apple, Chinar, walnut, mulberry among other species valued at 13.76 crore rupees have been chopped down by the NHAI (National Highway Authority of India) to lay down the Srinagar Ring Road, an RTI reply has revealed.

As per a report by Press Trust of India (PTI), the response received by RTI activist Raman Sharma from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on his queries said over 1,200 more private trees which form the lush green cover of the Valley will be chopped down in the coming days to build the new tarmac around Srinagar.

Earlier, The Himalayan Post produced two exclusive features on the loss of dense forest cover supported by satellite imagery and reported its fatal impact triggering weather extremes in the region.

The NHAI did not give any estimate of the cost that will be incurred on planting trees along the ring road and said the project is under construction.

It further said no plantation has been done to date and that it shall be carried out at a later stage.

According to the NHAI, 50,616 trees along the avenue and 25,308 trees along the median are to be planted as a contract agreement with the EPC contractor for the Srinagar Ring Road project.

The 42.10 km project with a cost of 939.41 crore rupees was awarded by the NHAI to a private company on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) mode in 2018.

The ring road and bypass project traversing through 52 villages and five districts, including Pulwama, Budgam, Baramula, Srinagar and Bandipora, was to be built in 36 months.

As per the report, the entire greenfield alignment has been proposed on the western side of Srinagar to provide connectivity to the habitation on that side and provide smooth and easy traffic flow in and around the city.

As part of the similar ring road project in Jammu, 5,707 trees of Chir, Garna, Kamala, Ber, Shisham, Parli, Amla among others will be axed but no “afforestation” will be done by NHAI, the RTI said.

“No such compensatory afforestation to be done by NHAI according to the forest clearance obtained under the Jammu and Kashmir Forest Conservation Act,” it said.