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HomePoliticsIndiaBullet train: Redesigned Thane station to minimise mangrove destruction

Bullet train: Redesigned Thane station to minimise mangrove destruction

The location for the bullet train's station is the same but after redesigning it, the earlier 12 hector mangrove region was getting affected in Thane, but now only three hectors will get affected

New Delhi: Environmental groups have written to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protect 53,465 mangrove trees from destruction by the bullet train project.

The groups have also requested the environment ministry to not clear the final proposal and have launched a social media campaign asking the NHSRCL to find an alternative route for the project.

However, the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has received the clearance from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) for its bullet train project that will lead to a clearance of mangroves spread over 13.36 hectares area.

Now, NHRSCL, the implementing agency of the Railways’ bullet train project, said Saturday that they have reworked the design of the station in Thane, Maharashtra, to reduce the number of affected mangroves from the estimated 53,000 to 32,044.

NHRSCL MD Achal Khare said in a statement that all the required wildlife, and CRZ clearance has been taken. He said the forest clearance came with a few conditions. The Environment Ministry had put a condition that the Thane station design is reviewed so that the affected mangrove region can be reduced.

“That without changing the location of Thane station, in what all ways can we reduce the Mangrove region – this is what we discussed that design with Japanese engineers and modified it accordingly,” Khare said.

“Passenger areas like the parking area and passenger handling area have now been moved out of the mangrove region. The location for the bullet train’s station is the same but after redesigning it, the earlier 12 hector mangrove region was getting affected in Thane, but now only three hectors will get affected. So this way, we have reduced around 21,000 mangroves and now only 32,044 mangroves will get affected by the entire project. Earlier there were around 53,000 mangroves getting affected,” he said.

Khare further said that the NHSRCL will get the mangroves affected by the bullet train project compensated at the rate of 1:5, by depositing money into mangroves cell, which will do the compensatory afforestation.

“So the number of mangroves which are getting cut due to the bullet train project is 32,044. Then around 1,60,000 new mangroves will be planted and the entire financial expense will be borne by NHSRCL. New mangroves will be planted through mangrove cells,” he added.

Earlier, Maharashtra Minister Diwakar Raote had said on Monday in a reply to a question in the State Legislative Council that as many as 54,000 mangroves spread over 13.36 hectares will be affected because of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor.

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