The trees uprooted from the central district of Kolonaki for the construction of Athens metro’s new Line 4 will be replaced once the project is completed, Deputy Infrastructure & Transport Minister Giorgos Karagiannis said in Parliament on Monday.
The removal of the trees in an area already lacking green spaces has been criticized by local residents and members of the opposition as work continues on the square.
Karagiannis said that the ministry, project owners Attico Metro SA and Anaplasi SA will sign a memorandum to acquire and replant 2,000 trees at the Athens municipality to balance the loss of green at the popular high-end neighborhood of the city.
He also said that almost all of the uprooted trees have been replanted at the city’s municipal greenhouse (146 trees) and three squares (14), while two oaks are waiting replanting at an area near the Hilton, he said.
Construction has already progressed on Line 4 which will start at Veikou and terminate at Goudi, stopping at Galatsi, Exarchia, the Academy, Kolonaki, Evangelismos, Kessariani, Ilissia and Zografou.
The minister said the line is expected to reduce daily traffic by 53,000 cars. This corresponds to a drop in carbon dioxide of 318 tons a day.
It is expected that 340,000 passengers will use the line daily, and the Kolonaki station in particular will help in the decongestion of the very busy and main changing station of Syntagma.