The ambitious Central Vista Redevelopment Project is embroiled in environmental controversy. A panel by the State-Level Expert Appraisal Committee (SEAC) has raised concern about the project's Executive Enclave could prove detrimental for the trees in the area. The Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Central Vista's nodal body, proposed the enclave's construction that has raised alarms.
According to NDTV, the Executive Enclave will consist of the new Prime Minister Office (PMO), India House, Cabinet Secretariat, and the National Security Council Secretariat. The meeting between the Expert Committee and the CPWD took place on January 31, after which the former made a few observations regarding the project and its immediate consequences.
Removing 'Excessively High Proportion Of Trees'
The nodal body submitted the report to the panel with all the necessary details regarding the project, which will cost a whopping ₹1381 crores. At the moment, 784 trees are present at the site. The CPWD proposed that it retain 154 trees, but 630 will be transplanted at the proposed enclave. Therefore, the staggering number concerned the Appraisal Committee as around 80% of the tree cover will be compromised, an 'excessively high proportion.'
In light of this, the SEAC has asked for the plan's revision that will consist of a 'requisite number of trees.' "The CPWD needs to furnish details regarding an existing tree inventory with species and girth, along with a baseline tree area map showing the ones that will be retained, ones to be removed due to building ground coverage, and due to additional paved area. The attempt made to increase trees may be retained," said the proposal.
This is not the first time the refurbishing initiative has raised concerns. Deccan Herald reported that the excessively dug-up Rajpath enraged the citizens deemed 'unnecessary'. Several environmental activists around the country have asked the government to keep the mammoth project 'on hold' as it will negatively impact the environment.
As reported by Times Now, around 65 organisations came together to file a statement against the project. With most of its work during the COVID-19 pandemic, the public asked the Modi regime to divert its attention towards improving the health sector rather than devoting all its time towards a vanity beautification endeavour that can undertake a more sustainable undertaking approach in its execution.