Nagpur, June 11
While the National Highways Authority (NHAI) is trying to speed up the Ajni Inter Model Station (IMS) project, environmental activists trying to save trees have stepped up their agitation.
The NHAI had claimed that 4,930 trees will be uprooted for the project, while the entire project is in four phases and environmentalists fear that around 40,000 trees will be cut.
The NHAI’s action plan seems to reinforce environmentalists’ claims. The entire IMS project is in four phases and will cover an area of 500 acres.
This will not only affect the Ajni forest but also the greenery under Central Jail, Neeri, FCI and Dhanwate College. Environmentalists allege that the project is being broken into phases to hide the actual number of tress to be cut. Environmental clearance must be taken while cutting tress, but NHAI is said to have tried to save it.
Four phases of project
Phase 1: IMS-1 44 acres. Ajni forest premises with old quarters and railway workshops. It is proposed to cut 4,522 trees. In addition, 408 trees will be cut down in the flyover from Ajni IMS-Rahate Colony to Neeri along Wardha Road.
Phase II: IMS-2: Dhanwate National College and surrounding area. Total 48 acres of land. In this 4,000 trees will be uprooted.
Phase III: Commercial Business Development (CBD-1). Total 117 acres of Central Jail and 34 acres of FCI land. For malls, three star, five star hotels, restaurants and shops etc. 13,000 trees will be chopped.
Phase IV: For CBD-2. Information about the proposed railway site and vacant plot up to the ground. A total of 237 acres of land will be acquired. As many as 20,000 trees will be cut for this.