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Over 7,500 trees cut for 16-km section of Delhi-Dehradun Expressway: RTI response

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NOIDA, April 4: As many as 7,575 trees have been felled on a nearly 16-km-long section of the Delhi-Dehradun Expressway and over 1.76 lakh are to be planted in compensation for it, according to the National Highways Authority of India.

Of the felled trees on the Ganeshpur-Dehradun section of the project, 4,983 were in Uttarakhand, while 2,592 were in Uttar Pradesh, the NHAI said in response to a query filed under provisions of the Right To Information (RTI) Act.

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In the RTI query, Noida-based social activist Amit Gupta also sought to know the status of replantation and survival of trees on the 15.8-km-long section of the Delhi-Dehradun Expressway.

In his response, Pankaj Kumar Mourya, the public information officer-cum-project director, said 155 trees have been translocated in Uttar Pradesh and 121 of them have survived the translocation.

According to the compensatory afforestation scheme submitted by the forest departments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, 1,76,050 trees are to be planted by them to make up for the felling of 7,575 trees, the NHAI said.

“Total Rs 3,60,69,780 have been paid against compensatory afforestation to forest departments of UP and Uttarakhand by the NHAI,” it added.

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According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), the 212 km-long six-lane Delhi-Dehradun Greenfield Access Controlled Expressway is being built at a cost of Rs 12,000 crore.

The expressway, which is expected to cut travel time between Delhi and Dehradun to two-and-a-half hours, is expected to open next year for the public.

Divided into four sections, this expressway is being constructed starting from Delhi-Mumbai Expressway near Akshardham in Delhi, Shastri Park, Khajuri Khas, EPE interchange at Khekra in Mandola, Baghpat, Shamli, Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh to Dehradun, Uttrakhand.

A 340-metre-long three-lane tunnel is also being constructed at Datkali, Dehradun at a cost of Rs 1,995 crore, the ministry stated in an April 2023 statement about the project.

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“Many special provisions have been made in the construction of the entire corridor. In these, the route from Ganeshpur to Dehradun has been kept safe for wildlife. There is a provision of 12-km elevated road, six animal underpasses, two elephant underpasses, two major bridges and 13 minor bridges,” the MoRTH said.

“Also, 113 VUP (Vehicular Under Passes), LVUP (Light Vehicular Under Passes), SVUP (Small Vehicular Under Passes), 5 ROBs, 4 major bridges and 62 bus shelters are being constructed in the entire expressway. Along with this, apart from 76 km service road, 29 km elevated road, 16 entry-exit points are also being constructed,” it added. (PTI)






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