Development but at what cost? Greenbelt destroyed for Munshipulia-Polytechnic flyover construction
Indira Nagar locals might soon be able to get rid of the heavy and chaotic traffic piling up every day at both Munshipulia and Polytechnic intersections, but there's a lot happening here. The construction of the Munshipulia-Polytechnic flyover by the PWD (NH) Division of NHAI has resulted in widespread destruction of trees and green life. We reached out to the authorities to inquire about their plans for address this.
Speaking to Assistant Engineer at PWD, Chandra Prakash Verma, we learnt that to compensate for the destroyed greenbelt, authorities will take up a replantation drive at a distinct chosen spot at some point in the future.
Compensation for the destroyed greenbelt
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will provide the budget for compensation of the greenbelt that has been cut down in the construction process. However, the execution of the plans seems to be slightly ambiguous and somewhere in the remote future, making the carrying out of the same a bit implausible. And even though the road infrastructure development is a much-needed move, the cost of losing so much green life seems unnecessary.
We were informed that once the said budget is approved and transferred, and the flyover and the service lane are built in entirety will the plantation work begin.
This said plantation drive promises to put up saplings on the dividers, besides "planting 10 times the trees that have been damaged or cut down. These will be planted at a separate location in the city that will be decided by the department once the flyover is complete," the official added.
While some of these fresh saplings and trees will be covered by the Forest department, after receiving the budget from NHAI, others will be implemented by Nagar Nigam.
Dr Ravi Kumar Singh, IFS Forest Department, confirmed that the greenbelt taken down has been done for the purpose of the flyover's construction and with the permission of the government. The replantation will happen after the completion of flyover and once the budget is received for the same.
Budgeted at ₹170.06 crores, the Munshipulia-Polytechnic flyover in four lanes is slated to be completed by March 2024, proffering relief to some 1.25 lakh commuters on this route, yet, at what cost?