Following a movement against cutting down a 100-year-old banyan tree, the government has decided not to cut it down to accommodate the construction of the Rawalpindi Ring Road. Consequently, the government has approved an additional Rs. 100 million to be allocated to the project to change the design of the road and save the tree.
Earlier, the residents of Rawat had pleaded with the government to prevent chopping down the historic tree that has come in the way of the Rawalpindi Ring Road Project.
A resident said, “We take shelter under the cool shade of this ancient tree in sweltering summers when there is no electricity. I have seen this tree all my life; we grew up under its shade”.
The Project Director Rawalpindi Commissioner, Muhammad Mehmood, ensured that the tree will be saved and that the plan for the new road will be redesigned. He also approved an additional Rs. 100 million to purchase more land for the project. Accordingly, the engineers will redesign the route, and the project will be carried out without destroying the banyan tree.
Although a total of 6,500 trees will be cut down for the Rawalpindi Ring Road Project, the government has ensured that 30,000 additional trees will be planted as substitutes.
The total cost of the project was previously estimated to be at Rs. 50 billion, and an additional amount of Rs. 6.77 billion has been set aside for the beautification of the tracts alongside the road. Landscapes, lakes, and waterfalls will also be built beside the new road to make the project more environment-friendly.