The translocation of 252 trees and removal of 15 trees for upcoming academic structures in Delhi University’s north campus has received approval from Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena. To offset this impact, the university will undertake compensatory measures, including translocating 252 trees and the planting of 2,670 saplings. The university will deposit approximately Rs 1,57,89,000 in advance for the compensatory plantation. This decision aims to balance the environmental impact of the construction activities while promoting ecological sustainability.
A designated plot spanning 4.88 hectares has slated for the development of a state-of-the-art Inter-Disciplinary Academic and Research Building of Eminence within the DSE Campus. Additionally, plans include the construction of an Academic Building dedicated to the faculty of Technology. Moreover, the University of Delhi did not possess a unique faculty. This is due to the independence of the erstwhile Delhi College of Engineering (DCE) and Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT) as standalone universities.
Furthermore, the translocation of 252 trees project encompasses the creation of a Library Building intended to augment the existing Central Reference Library, along with the establishment of an integrated Computer Centre. This component was notably absent until now. The ambitious initiative, with a total estimated cost exceeding Rs 900 crore, will have entirely funded by the Government of India. This comprehensive endeavour signifies a significant step towards enhancing academic and research facilities within the university campus.
Saxena observed that an official inspection of the project site, as per established norms, had conducted. This was done jointly by representatives from the Forest Department and the university, as stated by the LG office.
As per the LG office, the information conveyed indicated that the project area did not fall within a Morphological Ridge Area. It did not meet the criteria for deemed forest. Additionally, the LG’s approval for the transplantation and translocation of 252 trees deemed necessary. This is under the provisions outlined in the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994.
It has further highlighted that Section 9(3) of the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994 empowers the Tree Officer to make decisions regarding permission for the felling and transplantation of trees. However, this authority confine to one hectare at a time, as specified by the act.
According to Section 29 of the Act, the government can exempt certain regions or tree species from any of the laws’ specified requirements when doing so serves the public interest. The LG office clarified that the department felt obliged to request permission from the government and the LG. This is an exemption under Section 29 due to the project’s coverage surpassing one hectare.
Prime Minister Modi kicked off the construction of three new buildings at Delhi University in July of the previous year. These structures have anticipated to erected within the North Campus and scheduled for completion at various points in 2024.
The Faculty of Technology is the first of these developments, with a project cost of ₹195.65 crore. It has anticipated that this facility will be completed by November of this year. Meanwhile, as part of this revolutionary project, the Computer Centre is moving forward, with a May completion date anticipated.
An important part of this expansion is the Academic Block, which is located at a prime location in Maurice Nagar. Completing this academic facility by November is possible, at an estimated cost of ₹329.3 crore. The coordinated efforts to build these facilities demonstrate a dedication to improving DU’s academic infrastructure. These are an important first step in creating a rich learning environment.