RAWALPINDI: Rawalpindi’s retired commissioner, Captain Mohammad Mehmood, has ordered Pakistan’s National Engineering Services (Nespak) to conduct an investigation and find ways to save a century-old Banyan Tree that falls on the Ring Road project site.
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Previously, Rawat residents had asked the government to prevent the felling of the historic tree that stood in the way of the Rawalpindi Ring Road project.
One resident said: “We take refuge in the cool shade of this ancient tree in the hot summers when there is no electricity. I have seen this tree all my life; we grew up under its shadow”.
The project manager, Rawalpindi commissioner Muhammad Mehmood, assured that the tree will be saved and that the plan for the new road will be redrawn. He also approved an additional amount Rs. 100 million to buy more land for the project. As a result, the engineers will redraw the route and the project will be built without destroying the Banyan Tree.
The tree is located on Radio Pakistan’s proposed motorway junction.
“If you need to acquire more land to save the tree, you should also look into it,” he said.
He gave this directive while chairing a meeting held to review the Ring Road project.
While the Rawalpindi Ring Road project will cut a total of 6,500 trees, the government has ensured that another 30,000 trees will be planted as replacements.
Previously, the total cost of the project was estimated at Rs. 50 billion and an additional amount of Rs. 6,770 million was reserved for the beautification of road sections. To make the project more environmentally friendly, landscapes, lakes and waterfalls will also be created alongside the new route.
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