Plans to plant 10,000 saplings along Phase-III areas between Vasant Vihar and Haus Khas

Most of the trees being cut for construction of Metro projects are being given away for free by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to the various crematoriums in the Capital. The Corporation, that tries to transplant as many trees as possible, has been giving away the trees which cannot be saved to the crematoriums to serve a social cause.

Elaborating on the plan, a DMRC spokesperson said: “As per our policy we are supposed to raise awareness by providing training and integrating environmental protection procedures into day-to-day process. So far we have transplanted 494 trees. More often than not, we also end up cutting far less number of trees than we take permission to cut from the Environment Ministry.”

For instance, the DMRC had taken permission to cut 15,012 trees for Phase-III project but 15-20 per cent less trees will be actually cut. Similarly, in Phase-I, permission was obtained to cut 15,758 trees but only 13,858 were cut (1,900 trees were saved) and in Phase-II some 22,667 trees were cut.

The DMRC deposits a certain amount for afforestation in lieu of cutting trees. It had deposited Rs.43.40 crores to the Department of Forest and Wild Life for Phase III afforestation while for Phase I and II, it had paid Rs.16.09 crores for afforestation to the department.

The cost per tree varies from Rs.28,000 to Rs.33,000. The amount appears to be high as the Delhi Metro pays for 10 trees against cutting one tree for its project, the spokesperson said.

The trees which are implantable or damaged are given away to various cremation grounds.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation will also be undertaking a major greening drive alongside its Phase-III corridors. It plans to plant 10,000 trees between Vasant Vihar and Haus Khas alongside the tracks being under the phase.

These trees will be planted in the vicinity of the Metro, in schools, residential colonies and government buildings depending upon where they are needed and to make the area around the corridor look greener.

“We not only plant trees in the Metro premises, train depots but also in the vicinity of the stations,” the spokesperson said.

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