TNN | Jul 13, 2013, 01.52 AM IST.

NEW DELHI: Despite being ordered by National Green Tribunal to maintain status quo on the elevated road corridor project from Vikaspuri to Meera Bagh, several trees have been cut or damaged on the stretch by the contractor working for the public works department.

The applicant also contested that the project would require an environment impact assessment from the ministry of environment and forests since it is more than 20,000 sq m. The five-member NGT bench, headed by chairperson Swatanter Kumar, has asked PWD to file its reply to the allegations by July 23 and has ordered that status quo be maintained on the project.

A preliminary report on the ecological impact of the project, prepared by NGO Delhi Greens, was also submitted to the tribunal. The project entails construction of a 3.3 km elevated road on the Outer Ring Road between Vikaspuri and Meera Bagh and the report says that no EIA has been carried out for it “through proper channel” as “…project is not a standalone project but part of a larger project to make the 20 km stretch between Vikaspuri and Wazirabad signal-free.

It is therefore required that a comprehensive EIA be carried out for the entire project rather than a phase-wise EIA of individual stretches of the road”.

This becomes even more important since the project area has been notified by the Central Pollution Control Board as a critically polluted area. The report points out that while the project will help in decongesting the road and prevent idling of vehicles at red lights, it is coming at a cost of about 3,000 trees which will pose a massive threat to the city’s air quality.

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