The Uttarakhand High Court in Nainital has asked the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to submit the survey report by Forest Research Institute (FRI) after hearing the case of cutting of 25,100 trees due to the widening of the Delhi-Dehradun Highway in the Shivalik forest area adjoining the Rajaji National Park.
The court has listed the matter for its next hearing on August 11.
As per the petitioner Reenu Paul, most of the sal trees, on the stretch of the proposed Delhi-Dehradun expressway passing through forests of the Shivalik Hills, are being cut for more construction on the road, ANI reported.
The government had earlier given nod to the construction of an elevated expressway between Dehradun and New Delhi which will reduce the distance between the two cities to 180 kms.
The Centre's go-ahead to the project was conveyed to former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat by the National Highway Authority of India Chairman SS Sandhu.
Will boost tourism
Congratulating the people of the state after his meeting with Sandhu, the former chief minister said the construction of the highway will boost tourism and prove to be a milestone in its economic development.
Distance between Delhi-Dehradun to reduce by 180 kms
The expressway once completed will reduce the distance between Dehradun and the national capital to 180 kms. At present, the distance between Dehradun and Delhi is around 250 kms.
Construction of an elevated road on the route besides a new tunnel near Mohand on the outskirts of Dehradun is proposed as part of the project, the NHAI chairman earlier said.
Noting that parts of the proposed highway falls under the jurisdiction of forest and wildlife department of neighbouring Uttar Pardesh, Sandhu asked the former chief minister to request the UP government for speedy forest and environment clearances so that work on the project could be expedited.