People, Environment

TM Official Claims Protection of Valiasr Trees a Priority

TM Official Claims Protection of Valiasr Trees a PriorityTM Official Claims Protection of Valiasr Trees a Priority

The construction of Line 3 of the Tehran Metro has become a new source of concern for Valiasr Street, the capital’s longest treelined boulevard.

Officials however have pledged that conservation of the trees, that have become a hallmark of the sprawling capital, will take priority over any development project. The head of Tehran’s Parks and Green Spaces Organization has given assurances that the project of metro Line 3 will not damage the trees.

“The metro line will most likely run well below the street, not under the water channels that line the boulevard (where the trees are planted),” ISNA quoted Ali Mohammad Mokhtari, the director of the TM-affiliated organization, as saying.

Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf is also said to be in favor of scrapping any projects that would destroy or in any harm the iconic trees.

“The municipality attaches great importance to these trees. In fact, last year we planted roughly 2,000 old trees in the water channels, all of which are now in good condition,” said Mokhtari.

Development of Line 3 is essential to alleviating traffic congestion in the Tehran’s busiest and longest street, not to mention its effect on improving the capital’s dangerous and worsening air quality.

The Tehran municipality has been blamed frequently for causing damage to the boulevard’s trees ever since the project to construct the line started eight years ago.

According to a report by the Persian Daily ‘Sharq’ two years ago, 75 plane trees with over 80 years of age located between the Valiasr Junction and Valiasr Square dried out and were ultimately cut down. The Tehran Beautification Organization’s held the project contractors responsible saying they had cut off water supply to the trees.

The developers claimed that they had done so as a safety measure to protect the workers, but the organization dismissed their assertion, saying that by insulating the underground tunnels, the developers could have guaranteed the workers’ safety without having to cut the water supply to the trees.

The Line 3 of the subway runs from northeast to southwest, crossing traditionally busy parts of the capital.