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Poplar, Champa, Amlata… Delhi Metro to run on a green track

Sheesham trees from Hapur, Poplar from Saharanpur and flowering Champa: this is how your local metro station, central verges and road side — where Metro lines pass — are going to look like by this monsoon.

Till now, residents have viewed the Delhi Metro as the villain responsible for the felling of trees in their backyards.

But with Metro Managing Director E Sreedharan underlining the need for enhancing greenery at the underpasses, the DMRC has drawn up a comprehensive list of “right” species for the “right areas” of the city. The plan looks beyond compensatory afforestation of planting 10 trees for every tree felled. The DMRC will plant 11.

Special focus will be the Yamuna Bank, the Jorbagh area and the Dwarka subcity, for which the “right” trees are large shady ones. In smaller areas, under flyovers and on central verges, there will be ornamental flowering bushes, which will exceed the number of trees the DMRC has cut down so far under Phase I.

Work is already underway with a target of planting 20,000 trees before the monsoons. A Horticultural consultant, previously working with CPWD, has been roped in and 17,248 shrubs, mostly along central verges, have already been planted.

The plan for the city, meanwhile, is to plant a tree or shrub wherever possible. The DMRC also does not want extra space to be used for littering.

“We have identified 12 species,” says Karan Singh, Chief Personnel Officer at DMRC. “The idea is to plant the right tree in the right area. We don’t want to repeat the mistakes of Delhi Government — planting tall trees at central verges and beneath flyovers.”

The depots, like the Najafgarh Depot, which cover a very large area, are going to see heavy tall trees and this will be on DMRC’s own initiative, says Singh, who also holds an MSc in Botany. For open areas like a park at the Kashmere Gate station, the Dwarka subcity and the Najafgarh depot, large shady trees will be planted.

Under its compensatory afforestation plan, DMRC has paid 1.74 crore to the Forest Department. 9876 trees were cut for Phase I, of which 1987 were transplanted.

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