To construct a flyover and widen the road in next two years, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) may fell nearly 10,000 fully grown trees on Sohna Road.
Last year, the Haryana forest department had sought approval on its proposal sent to the ministry of environment and forest (MoEF). An official said that they have already received the approval from the ministry on Monday.
“Efforts should be made to fell minimum number of trees and in any case, not more than 9,650 trees to be removed. The tree should be felled under the strict supervision of the state forest department and NHAI will not use forest land for any other purpose,” read the MoEF letter.
The public works department (PWD) Haryana handed over the Sohna Road to NHAI three years ago. It was renamed as NH 248-A - starting from Rajiv Chowk (NH-8 near Mini Secretariat) up to Alwar in Rajasthan.
There are plans to construct a flyover and widen the 20-kilometre stretch from Subhash Chowk to Sohna. It presently has four lanes.
The MoEF letter stated that the Haryana forest department will transfer 52 hectares to the NHAI, which will have to pay Rs50 crore for fresh plantation under the compensatory afforestation plan.
D Hembram, conservator of forest, Gurugram, said, “I will have to check the facts of compensatory afforestation plan in this regard. If a 52-hectare forest land would be deforested, then afforestation will take place on a minimum of 104 hectares and it has to happen within a year of the permission.”