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[Photos] Majestic Banyan Tree Spared in Hanoi Road Project

It's safe to say Hanoi doesn't have a great relationship with trees.

While the capital has its scenic spots and Hanoians themselves feel pretty strongly about the local greenery, development has caused much of the city's plant life to disappear.

Just last month, Cau Giay District said goodbye to the grassy median along Tran Duy Hung Street, reports Thanh Nien, as city officials made way for a path which will connect the Chi Thanh-Lang flyover with Hanoi's brand-new Trung Hoa Tunnel.

“For the sake of development, [we] have to accept eliminating the inappropriate thing,” Nguyen Xuan Tan, deputy head of Hanoi's traffic department, was quoted as saying.

And yet, there's still a sliver of good news amid all this tree-cutting gloom, as the capital's Ring Road 2, an infrastructure project worth VND6.4 trillion (US$284 million), has managed to spare a centuries-old banyan tree from destruction, reports Dan Tri.

The tree, which is located elsewhere in Cau Giay District, stands over 20 meters tall. Instead of cutting down the local landmark, Hanoi's new ring road swerves to avoid the tree, much to the delight of locals, who estimate its age at around 200 years old.

According to one resident, 70-year-old Lai Bo Truong, village elders used to talk about the “ancient” tree when he was a child, hinting at its age.

“This old banyan tree isn't just a cultural relic of the village but also a witness to the many historical changes which have taken place here,” Truong told Dan Tri.

Though 17 other trees were cut down to make way for the new road and more than 1,500 households resettled, officials chose to save the ancient banyan tree. According to a representative from the road-building project, engineers took into account the ancient tree from the beginning.

[Photos via VnExpress]


Related Articles:

Like Saigon, Hanoi Will Cut Down Old Trees to Make Room for New Metro Line

[Photos] Saigon's Old Trees Are Being Swallowed by Urbanization

Hanoi Suspends Uprooting of 6,700 Trees After Public Outcry


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