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India Relocating 200 Trees to Support First Formula E Race

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Formula E is making history this season as it sets off to host its first-ever event in Hyderabad, India. Unfortunately, track construction has resulted in the relocation of 200 “trees of gold,” of Tabebuia aurea, in order to make space for the track, the News Minute reports. While the trees will still be alive, the removal will inevitably have a significant impact on the local environment.

The prospective track layout around the Hussain Sagar Lake wasn’t quite up to FIA spec, which is why these trees are being removed. Basically, Formula E needs a track width of 12 meters, which has resulted in the removal of a road median and plenty of trees — though Telangana Digital Media Wing has noted that the layout has been changed multiple times in order to minimize the impact on the trees.

The trees were also noted to be predominately of a smaller size, with only about 10 percent of the trees being “large.”

However, one source notes that only 78 “trees of gold” remain after the removal of the roughly 200 trees that had lined the track surface and median.

The trees that have been removed are being relocated to local gardens and parks, and there’s a projected 100-percent survival rate — but tree relocation still has an impact on the local environment. Trees provide homes for wildlife, and the relocation of 200 trees will inevitably result in a loss of certain eco habitats. Further, the heavy machinery required to safely transplant those trees are operated at an environmental cost.

The race, which will take place on February 11, 2023, has been considered important enough to justify the impact it will have on the local environment — but there is admittedly something deeply ironic about the all-electric series requiring a significant alteration to the natural landscape in order to host an entertainment event, especially in a city that just won an award for its eco-friendliness.

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