73 trees being translocated in Varanasi for ICC project

Varanasi: Translocation of 73 fully grown trees in Varanasi is being carried out for the first time to make way for the 19-storey twin buildings of the proposed Integrated Commissioner Complex (ICC) project.

Divisional Commissioner, Deepak Agrawal said: "The foundation stone of the ICC project worth Rs 400 crore, to be set up on a public private partnership model, will be laid in September, and the administration has set a target to complete the entire paper work as well as the process of floating of RFP by August end."

The Commissioner said it is for the first time in eastern Uttar Pradesh that efforts were being made to ensure that no fully grown tree is felled for any development project.

The twin-towers project is coming on 3-acre land in the commissioner office compound.

It will also have the first skywalk at the top floor of the twin buildings, he added.

Regarding the translocation of trees, Agrawal said: "A total of 73 full grown trees have been identified for translocation. The average age of these trees is 25 years. Apart from Ficus, many other varieties including Sagaun, Amaltash, Kachnar, Gulmohar and mango trees are being shifted to the Central Jail premises, where 12 trees have already been translocated in the past one week. Many trees are also being translocated in commissioner office premises."

He said that for the translocation, a Delhi-based company has been engaged and the company is charging Rs 11,000 for translocation of each tree.

"Half of this money is paid in advance while the remaining amount would be paid after one year of maintenance of the translocated tree and ensuring its survival.

"With the process of translocation, the department has also started a detailed study for utilizing this method of saving trees in future projects," he said.

About the progress in the ICC project, the Commissioner said its detailed project report had been sent to the state government for approval.

The total estimated cost of the project is around Rs 400 crore and the government will not spend money from its own exchequer as the project is based on the PPP model.

"After government nod is received, the process of finalizing all paper works and floating RFC will be completed by August end," he said.

The ICC was sanctioned for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency and Gorakhpur, the home turf of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in the pilot project.

One tower will accommodate 44 government offices, while the second will be totally commercial to generate revenue for the project and maintenance.

Each tower will have a double-floor basement parking facility.

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