Around 8,000 trees to be axed for Greenfield Shamli-Ambala highway construction

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trees in sites

Around 7,966 trees will require to be axed for construction of the controlled-access Greenfield Shamli-Ambala highway to be constructed under Bharatmala Pariyojana giving another direct six-lane access between Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

, over 750 hectare agriculture land will be acquired and 140 building structures will need to be demolished for the ₹3,660 crore project which is likely to be completed by 2024.

As per the proposed terms of reference (TOR) prepared by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the project will also include 7.5 hectare forest land in both the states.

‘Total 7,966 trees are likely to be affected due to the proposed right of way of 60m of which, 250 trees fall on protected land and the remaining 7,716 fall on private agriculture fields,’ mentions the brief summary report of the project.

‘Most of the trees falling along the alignment are part of agro-forestry and the actual number of trees proposed to be felled will be submitted in the final report of environment impact after joint enumeration with appropriate authorities of respective state governments,’ it mentioned.

Assurances were made that efforts will be made to minimise tree loss by restricting tree cutting with information width.

In Haryana, the highway will cross from hundreds of villages of Ambala, Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra and Karnal districts and enter Uttar Pradesh’s Saharnpur and Shamli districts with a bridge over the Yamuna river near Chandron village of Karnal.

The road project will also have two railway overbridges, 16 minor bridges, 31 vehicular underpass, 40 light vehicular underpass and seven interchanges.

As per officials, work on the detailed project report and construction will start soon after the process of acquisition of land is completed by the NHAI.

The work of marking of the highway has already been completed and the process for acquisition of the marked land is underway. The work of filling of soil is likely to start by April this year.

However, farmers whose lands fall near the highway are complaining that this will divide their fields into two pieces and they will have to travel kilometres every day.

‘Earlier, we did not know much about the project but they have installed pillars in the width of around 60m. Now, we came to know that the government will construct a highway which will separate our fields and villages,’ said farmer Manoj Kumar, of Radaur, whose three acre agriculture land is being acquired for the highway.

, there are around 140 building structures to be demolished as they come between the highways but the officials associated with the project said most of these buildings are small tubewells and farm houses. There are no residential areas coming in the way of the highway.

NHAI Ambala project director Virender Singh said, ‘The process of acquisition of this project of the Tarai belt is under process in Haryana. It will be completed by March whereas in UP, we are in advance stage as the initial ground work has been completed in both Shamli and Saharanpur districts.’

On felling of nearly 8,000 trees, he said, ‘There are no forest trees. Most of the trees are located on link roads as there is no notified forest area being acquired for the highway and even the structures are small.’

‘We have already written for the public hearing for environmental clearance. The process for tendering will start soon after completion of the land acquisition,’ he added.