More trees fall in Vietnam for another subway, this time in Hanoi

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Trees being felled on October 2, 2014 as workers prepare to convert Nguyen Hue Street in Ho Chi Minh City into a pedestrian promenade. Photo: Doc Lap Trees being felled on October 2, 2014 as workers prepare to convert Nguyen Hue Street in Ho Chi Minh City into a pedestrian promenade. Photo: Doc Lap

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Municipal workers in Hanoi have begun chopping down over 200 trees to make way for a metro line.
Le Huy Hoang, deputy director of the Hanoi Urban Railway Management Board, was quoted by newss website VnExpress on Friday that work would begin this weekend to clear the site for a planned subway station on Tay Tuu Street in Tu Liem District.
Hoang said the city would cut down 18 trees, which he described as too large for an urban environment, and relocate nine smaller ones to the transportation department's Hanoi Park and Tree Company garden.
The city plans to cut down 198 trees and relocate another 116 trees, he said.
Most of the trees are milkwood pine and mahogany trees that are dozens of years old.
“That plan was based on surveys and consultations and is awaiting approval from the municipal government,” he said.
Site clearance will begin in Tu Liem District this December.
Late next year, authorities would begin building another underground station that will require axing the famed canopy around Thu Le Lake, he said.
Nguyen Xuan Hung, deputy director of the Hanoi Park and Trees Company, said trees that are more than 30 centimeters in diameter and aren't rotten will be auctioned.
Hanoi’s finance department will set prices and the proceeds of the sales will be added to the municipal budget, Hung said.
The capital’s transport department has already approved the removal of 400 other street trees to build an elevated railway and a road tunnel.
Ho Chi Minh City authorities have similarly targeted the urban canopy to make way for public works projects.
In July, city workers cut the green heart out of District 1 to make way for the country’s first subway station.
The last trees on Nguyen Hue, which is slated to become a pedestrian promenade, were chopped down in October.
Forestry crews plan to chop down 84 mahogany trees--some of which are estimated to be a century old--on downtown Ton Duc Thang Street to make way for the Thu Thiem 2 Bridge between districts 1 and 2.
District 2 is already connected to the city downtown by the Saigon River Tunnel and Thu Thiem 1 Bridge that runs to Binh Thanh District.
In October, the city began a campaign to chop down 215 mahogany trees, most of which are more than 12 meters tall, on Nguyen Van Huong Street in District 2 to expand the road.

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