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Over 2,000 trees are proposed to be felled in the 14 hectares of forest land in east and northeast Delhi that is proposed to be diverted for the construction of a stretch of a six-lane highway.

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has sought permission from the Delhi forest department for the development of a 14.75-km stretch of the six-lane access controlled Delhi-Saharanpur highway, according to official documents.

A total of 2,038 trees are there on the stretch between the Akshardham NH-9 junction and the Delhi-UP border. The species include Sheesham, Sahtut, Peepal, Champa, Ashok, Subabul, Neem, Eucalyptus, Kikar, Ber, Jamun and Gular.

The proposal read, “The project falls in deemed forest land and diversion of this deemed forest land is unavoidable."

The 1,500-crore project is part of Phase I of the Bharatmala Pariyojana, the second largest highway construction programme in the country under which 50,000 km of roads will be constructed.

The central agency has also sought permission for the diversion of 0.35 hectares of forest land for the construction of a six-lane access controlled highway from DND Maharani Bagh to the junction with Jaitpur-Pushta Road section of NH-148.

A total of 191 trees, including Beri, Neem, Peepal, Sahtut and Siras, are proposed to be translocated during the construction work.

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