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Environment ministry panel bats for a Manesar expressway to decongest Delhi

LiveMint logoLiveMint 20-04-2017 Mayank Aggarwal

New Delhi: Keeping in mind the severe pollution levels in Delhi, an expert panel of the Union environment ministry has recommended environment clearance for the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway in neighbouring Haryana.

The project is aimed at decongesting Delhi and adjoining regions and ultimately minimize air pollution in the national capital.

The total length of the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway project is 135.65km and it is being promoted by the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corp. (HSIIDC) Ltd. The Manesar-Palwal section (52.33km) of the expressway was completed and opened for public transport in March 2016.

The environment clearance was sought from the expert panel for the remaining —Kundli-Manesar section (83.32 km).

The project was considered during the recent meeting of the environment ministry’s expert appraisal committee (EAC) for industrial area and highways on 6-7 April.

During the EAC’s meeting, whose minutes were reviewed by Mint, HSIIDC told the committee that the development of the expressway in the area will definitely bring substantial changes in the land use pattern of the area, which will be irreversible.

“The development of expressway in the area will definitely bring substantial change in the land use pattern of the area. The land acquired for the purpose is predominantly agriculture. About 70% length of the proposed expressway passes through cultivated land and remaining 30% length traverses through forest, barren and inhabited area. The impact caused due to change in land use pattern will be direct and of long-term and irreversible in nature,” the committee was informed.

A total of 3,846.67 acres has been diverted from agriculture and forests or other land use to road construction.

“The committee, after deliberations, took note of the project benefits in larger public interest, especially reducing air pollution in NCT (National Capital Territory) of Delhi in true compliance of the orders of the Supreme Court and other courts from time to time,” said the EAC, as per the minutes of the meeting.

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