The Environment Ministry's Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) has recommended granting environmental clearance to phase one of the 'Integrated Development of East Delhi Hub' project under which 123 trees are planned to be felled and 20 transplanted. The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had approved the project in 2014 and entrusted it to National Buildings Construction Corporation NBCC (India) Limited in 2019.
The proposed project at Karkardooma is "conceptualised to be a new transit-oriented development that imbibes the core values of a sustainable 'Smart City'", the minutes of the 65th meeting of the EAC held on May 27-28 read. Spread over 37.42 hectares, the Rs 1,168-crore project will bring together metro stations, residences, workplaces and recreational spaces such as museums. The total green area proposed for phase one of the project, to be developed on 25.89 hectares of land, is 78,213 sqm.
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"At the site, 462 trees are existing, of which 123 trees shall be cut and 20 trees shall be transplanted, while 3,200 trees are proposed for plantation at the site," the minutes read. Okhla Bird Sanctuary is at 9.14 kilometres. The project is located outside the notified eco-sensitive zone of the sanctuary.
"Considering the large scale of the project and the population involved for all activities, it is therefore desirable that the project demonstrates all sustainable development parameters and environmental concerns," the EAC said. The project will be developed around the Delhi Metro routes — Blue Line and the Pink Line — and will include a massive open landscaped green area and a 48-storey signature tower that will come up in the first phase of the project, according to officials.
It will comprise 6,518 dwelling units, including 1,992 for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), along with various amenities like schools, dispensaries, library, cultural centre, community halls, convenient shopping, community spaces and creche. The EAC had earlier examined the proposal in its 62nd meeting held on March 1 and asked the project proponent to resubmit the EIA report after making certain changes.
According to the transit-oriented development policy for Delhi, development along or around transit corridors can have a higher floor area ratio to accommodate more residential, office and recreational spaces within walking or cycling distance of the transit stations.