As the controversy continues over felling of trees for redeveloping seven colonies by state-run NBCC, the company has got green nod from the Environment Ministry for one of these projects where nearly 18,000 flats will be built at an estimated cost of Rs 11,660 crore. NBCC has received the environment clearance (EC) for redeveloping the Sarojini Nagar Colony in south Delhi with some riders, according to an official document.
The company has informed the Centre that there are about 13,128 trees at the site. “Due to the demolition purpose, 11,000 trees will be felled and 2,128 trees will be retained,” NBCC said in its proposal.
However, the loss of trees would be compensated by large landscaping planned and suggested in the Master plan of the proposed project, it added.
While giving the EC, NBCC has been asked to plant minimum one tree of native species for every 80 square metre of land. It has also been asked to plant 10 trees for every one tree cut.
Among other conditions specified, the company has been asked to obtain all necessary clearances from relevant agencies including town planning authority before commencement of work. It has also been told to construct in accordance with the local building byelaws.
Further, NBCC has been asked to obtain ‘Consent to Establish /Operate’ for the project from the State Pollution Control Board and approval of the competent authority for structural safety of buildings as per National Building Code. The proposed project is expected to create employment opportunity for 800 persons, the document added.
Besides Sarojini Nagar, the government-owned real estate development body is redeveloping Netaji Nagar and Nauroji Nagar, while the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) is managing the rest four colonies in Kasturba Nagar, Thyagraj Nagar, Srinivaspuri and Mohammadpur.
A major protest broke out against the decision, with locals and activists launching their own “Chipko Movement”, a forest conservation movement where people embraced trees to prevent them from being cut in Uttarakhand (then Uttar Pradesh) in the 1970s.