THE PARKING zone and passenger facility area have been taken out of the mangrove zone in the design plan for the upcoming station at Thane for the bullet train.
Sources said the National High Speed Rail Corridor (NHSRCL) took this decision to save more than 21, 000 mangrove trees. The Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train had raised question marks on the fate of these trees after it came to light that more than 52,000 will be felled to make way for the Thane station.
“The environment ministry while giving us clearance asked us to rethink the design or location of the station to reduce the effect on mangrove trees. Moving the location was not an option, so we went back to the table and communicated this to the Japanese expert team,” said Achal Khare, managing director, NHSRCL.
The Thane station for the bullet train is proposed inside the mangrove zone near the Thane creek. “We have decided that only the elevated area, including the platform will be inside the mangrove zone. The ground floor facilities, such as parking and other services, were taken out of the mangrove zone to ensure the least damage to the area,” Khare said.
According to Khare, this rejig in the design plan will help save more than 21,000 trees. “From 52,000 trees, we are now down to 32,000 trees. Even for these, we will pay the mangrove cell to carry out the afforestation,” he added.
“This move is appreciated but it should be noted that this is like putting a band aid on a bullet wound. At least steps are being taken to make the project environmentally conscious. I will be able to comment better after I get more information,” said Ajeet Tyagi, an environmentalist.