The National Highways Authority (NHAI) had claimed that 4,930 trees will be uprooted for the Ajni Inter Model Station (IMS) while the entire project is in four phases and environmentalists fear that around 40,000 trees will be cut.
However, no matter how much the NHAI is trying to speed up the projet, environmental activists trying to save trees creating hurdles.
Considering th continous agitation from environmentalists, Minister for Road Transport & Highways and the Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Nitin Gadkari ordered to transfer all the trees to a new place.
The entire IMS project is in four phases and will cover an area of 500 acres.
This will not only affect the Ajni forest but also the greenery under Central Jail, Neeri, FCI and Dhanwate College.
Environmentalists allege that the project is being broken into phases to hide the actual number of tress to be cut.
Four phases of project Phase 1: IMS-1 44 acres. Ajni forest premises with old quarters and railway work shops. It is proposed to cut 4,522 trees. In addition, trees will be cut down in the flyover from Ajni IMS Rahate Colony to NEERI along Wardha Road.
Phase II: IMS-2: Dhanwate National College and sur rounding area. Total 48 acres of land. In this 4,000 trees will be uprooted.
Phase III: Commercial Business Development (CBD-1). Total 117 acres of Central Jail and 34 acres of FCI land. For malls, three star, five star hotels, restau rants and shops etc. 13,000 trees will be chopped.
Phase IV: For CBD-2. Information about the pro. posed railway site and vacant plot up to the ground. A total of 237 acres of land will be acquired. As many as 20,000 trees will be cut for this.