A new maintenance shed for Vande Bharat trains will come up soon in Delhi after Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal’s intervention. Notably, the government had received a proposal from the Railways for removing and transplanting 78 trees to clear its construction site. CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal has cleared the path for the project by approving the said proposal in national interest. He has approved the proposal against the condition of the Railways taking up plantation of 780 new saplings as per the plan.

The Railways has proposed the construction of a new train shed in Shakurbasti. However, certain patches of trees were obstructing the construction of the site. Thus, through its officials, it had written a letter to the Environment and Forests Department of the Delhi Government seeking approval for removal of 8 trees and transplantation of 70 trees to clear the site.

Given the importance of the modern infrastructure for the Railways, CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal gave his nod to speed up the work by clearing the patch, in national interest. The CM stated, “The railways critically needs modern infrastructure. This approval will help the nation get better facilities. We are actively ensuring that modern developments do not adversely impact Delhi and are mandating 10x compensatory plantation for any tree that gets affected.”

Approving the proposal, the CM has noted that it will be placed before the LG, and he is bound by the aid and advice of the government on the subject.

The Delhi Government has further noted that the transplantation will take place around the identified project site. The Delhi Government has further asked the Railways to not damage a single tree at the site other than those that have been identified and approved by the government. If any tree apart from the approved ones is damaged, it shall constitute an offence under Delhi Preservation of Trees Act 1994.

The Delhi Government has further made it mandatory for the Railways to plant ten times the trees, in lieu of the removal and transplantation. Thus, they will now plant 780 new tree saplings. These trees will be planted upon the identified land parcels within 3 months from the date on which the permission for shifting of the trees will be issued. The Railways will further take the responsibility of maintaining the trees for the next seven years, as per Delhi Government’s guidelines. As per the proposal approved by the Delhi Government, various species of trees that suit the soil and climate of Delhi will be planted in lieu of the removal and transplantation of the trees. These include Neem, Amaltas, Pipal, Pilkhan, Gular, Bargad, Desi Kikar and Arjun among other species. These trees will be planted as saplings of 6-8 feet height on non-forest lands.

As for the trees that have to be transplanted, the Railways has been asked to start the process immediately after fulfilling requisite conditions, and complete it within 6 months. They will further submit a report on the same to the Tree Officer for supervision. The Delhi Government has asked the Railways to scrupulously abide by the Delhi Tree Transplantation Policy 2020 for the project and submit regular progress reports on the same. They must ensure that for all transplanted trees that do not survive, indigenous tree species with 15 feet height and at least 6 inch diameter are planted in 1:5 ratio. If any tree is found to have a nest of birds then it will not be allowed to be felled or transplanted till the birds abandon the tree. Further, the lops and tops of the trees shall be sent to the nearest crematorium for free by them within 90 days of its felling.

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