Uttarakhand HC nods felling of trees for widening Sahastradhara road
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Uttarakhand HC nods felling of trees for widening Sahastradhara road

The Uttarakhand high court (HC) on Wednesday gave its nod for the arterial Sahastradhara Road in Dehradun but requested the state government to transplant 972 of the 2,057 trees that would be felled for the project.

It also requested the state government to take care of the transplanted trees for the next five years. The 14-km long Jogiwala-Pacific Gold Estate Road is suggested to be widened from 7.5 metres to 20 metres and is said to make access to Mussoorie faster for tourists arriving from Delhi.

The division bench of acting Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar Mishra and Justice RC Khulbe asked chief standing advocate Chandra Shekhar Rawat, who was representing the state, to take care of the transplanted trees for the next five years. The court also requested the state to plant enough saplings alongside the broadened road, maintain them and keep informing their development to the court every six months. The first report is due to be submitted in the second week of December.

On May 11, the Uttarakhand HC had put a stay on the felling of the trees, after Dehradun-based activist Ashish Garg filed a petition saying Sahastradhara is known for its pleasing climate and would turn desolate and barren if these trees are razed. Garg debated whether the state capital was already handling the brunt of climate change due to infrastructural projects and demolishing more trees would make heat islands.

The proposal to broaden the 14-km two-lane road from Jogiwala to Kirsali Chowk was initiated in September last year, to make the journey from Dehradun to Mussoorie faster and easier.

The idea was to let tourists enter Mussoorie without having to cross Dehradun's Rajpur Road, which often gets jammed with vehicles during peak tourist seasons. Around Rs 77 crore from the Central Roads Fund (CRF) was approved for the project.

Since September, residents, and activists have been protesting regularly against the suggestion by collecting at the site, beginning online petitions, generating tweet storms, and even proposing alternate ways from Dehradun to Mussoorie.

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Also read: Telangana govt takes up Rs 8,052 cr road works under SRDP

The Uttarakhand high court (HC) on Wednesday gave its nod for the arterial Sahastradhara Road in Dehradun but requested the state government to transplant 972 of the 2,057 trees that would be felled for the project. It also requested the state government to take care of the transplanted trees for the next five years. The 14-km long Jogiwala-Pacific Gold Estate Road is suggested to be widened from 7.5 metres to 20 metres and is said to make access to Mussoorie faster for tourists arriving from Delhi. The division bench of acting Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar Mishra and Justice RC Khulbe asked chief standing advocate Chandra Shekhar Rawat, who was representing the state, to take care of the transplanted trees for the next five years. The court also requested the state to plant enough saplings alongside the broadened road, maintain them and keep informing their development to the court every six months. The first report is due to be submitted in the second week of December. On May 11, the Uttarakhand HC had put a stay on the felling of the trees, after Dehradun-based activist Ashish Garg filed a petition saying Sahastradhara is known for its pleasing climate and would turn desolate and barren if these trees are razed. Garg debated whether the state capital was already handling the brunt of climate change due to infrastructural projects and demolishing more trees would make heat islands. The proposal to broaden the 14-km two-lane road from Jogiwala to Kirsali Chowk was initiated in September last year, to make the journey from Dehradun to Mussoorie faster and easier. The idea was to let tourists enter Mussoorie without having to cross Dehradun's Rajpur Road, which often gets jammed with vehicles during peak tourist seasons. Around Rs 77 crore from the Central Roads Fund (CRF) was approved for the project. Since September, residents, and activists have been protesting regularly against the suggestion by collecting at the site, beginning online petitions, generating tweet storms, and even proposing alternate ways from Dehradun to Mussoorie. Image Source Also read: Telangana govt takes up Rs 8,052 cr road works under SRDP

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