Definition of trees causing hindrance for clearance figures in the meet chaired by Gadkari

Forest clearance for 187 highway projects was top on the agenda for a meeting on infrastructure on Tuesday.

The web conference of the Group of Ministers was chaired by Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari and comprised Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.

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The meeting discussed how the inclusion of shrubs and plants such as ‘Babool’ and ‘Kikar’ in the definition of trees was causing hindrance in seeking permission for forest clearance. This is among the reasons why the Dwarka Expressway has been delayed as there are 1,939 Babool shrubs out of the 6,364 trees identified for cutting.

The Minsters and officials also discussed the removal of level crossings on national highways to prevent road accidents. While 167 such crossings have already been identified and plans for constructing over-bridges and underpasses approved, work on them has been slow.

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