There is good news for users of the Delhi metro as there might be an extended corridor connecting Magenta Line’s Janakpuri West Station to Blue Line’s RK Ashram Station soon.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal cleared the way for the upcoming Janakpuri-RK Ashram Metro Corridor on October 20, 2022. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has proposed the construction of a new Delhi Metro corridor extending from Janakpuri to RK Ashram. Being an extension of the Magenta line of the metro, the corridor is touted to cover many densely populated areas of Delhi.
The project was long pending due to a park that was coming in the way of the Janakpuri—RK Ashram Metro Corridor’s link at Derawal Nagar. The DMRC had sought clearance for the removal and transplantation of trees from the site which had been stuck for some time. Kejriwal has granted permission on behalf of the Delhi Government, to the DMRC for the removal and transplantation of 316 trees on the site on the condition that 3,160 new trees be planted as compensation.
The Janakpuri to RK Ashram Corridor will run through several densely populated areas of Delhi including R.K. Ashram, Nabi Karim, Sadar Bazar, Pulbangash, Ghanta Ghar, Derawal Nagar, Ashok Vihar, Azadpur, Majlis Park, Bhalaswa, Haiderpur Badli Mor, North Pitampura, Prashant Vihar, Madhuban Chowk, Deepali Chowk, Pushpanjali Enclave, West Enclave, Mangolpuri, Peeragarhi, Paschim Vihar, Keshopur, Krishna Park Extn and Janakpuri West.
Talking about the development, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “We have cleared the path for construction of a new metro corridor between Janakpuri and RK Ashram, today. DMRC has been permitted to remove and transplant 316 trees obstructing the project, provided they compensate by planting 3,160 more trees. The corridor is part of Delhi Metro's Phase 4. With this, another major section of Delhi will now have improved access to the Metro. Access to public transport is the lifeline of any modern city. This will help people opt for cleaner transport & leave their vehicles behind.”
Notably, the 29 km corridor passes through the park near Gurudwara Nanak Piao at Derawal Nagar. The park contains a stretch of 316 trees, causing hindrances in the construction. This particular area is of importance to the project as this will be the confluence of the elevated section and the underground section of the metro. The metro line is being constructed as an elevated corridor towards Derawal Nagar and will then take the underground route towards RK Ashram. Thus, the DMRC through its Chief Project Manager, wrote a letter to the Delhi Government seeking approval for the removal and transplantation of 316 trees to clear the way at the site.
Approving the proposal, the Delhi Government has noted that out of the 316 trees, the DMRC will transplant 185 trees of indigenous and native species from the site, while it will take up the felling of 131 trees only of the non-native species. The Delhi Government has further instructed the DMRC to not damage a single tree at the site other than those that have been identified and approved by the government. If any tree apart from the 316 approved ones is damaged, it shall constitute an offence under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act 1994.
The Delhi Government has further made it mandatory for the agency to plant ten times the trees, in lieu of the removal and transplantation. Thus, the DMRC will now plant 3,160 new tree saplings, besides transplanting 58% of the trees at the site. These 3,160 trees will be planted upon the identified land parcels within 3 months from the date on which the permission for shifting of the trees will be issued. The DMRC will further take the responsibility of maintaining the trees for the next seven years, as per the Delhi Government’s guidelines. As per the proposal approved by the Delhi Government, various species of trees that suit the soil and climate of Delhi will be planted instead of the removal and transplantation the trees. These include Neem, Amaltas, Pipal, Pilkhan, Gular, Bargad, Desi Kikar and Arjun among other species. These trees will be planted as saplings of 6-8 feet in height on non-forest lands.
As for the trees that have to be transplanted, the DMRC has been instructed to start the process immediately after fulfilling the requisite conditions and complete it within 6 months. The DMRC will further submit a report on the same to the Tree Officer for supervision. The Delhi Government has asked the DMRC to scrupulously abide by the Tree Transplantation Policy 2020 for the project and submit regular progress reports on the same. The DMRC must ensure that all transplanted trees that do not survive indigenous tree species with 15 feet height and at least 6-inch diameter are planted in a 1:5 ratio. If any tree is found to have a nest of birds then it will not be allowed to be felled or transplanted till the birds abandon the tree. Further, the lops and tops of the trees shall be sent to the nearest crematorium for free by the DMRC within 90 days of its felling.