Some call it a big city, others hail it as rich. Delhi- is polarised like few other cities are in present-day India. Bangalore isn’t. Calcutta or Chennai also have their place in media, often in good reverence. Surely, Delhi eschews that, in one way or the other.
Delhi has for the longest time been a megalomaniacal metropolitan city coming on the verge of a virtual meltdown. This has been caused due to a spate of constant, unchecked, wreckless construction, immense privatisation and all the vehicular pollution, all of which, put together have choked the life out of the city’s lungs.
The city is breathing heavily, it’s in despair and looking for an urgent repair-work. Is anyone, anywhere listening? Long been celebrated among the few Indian cities to have retained its colloquial charm, Delhi’s been on the top of everyone’s lips for its greenery- the only thing today that is worth celebrating in a Mecca of corporate establishments.
And even that, it seems, has been coming under immense threat from all possible corners.
Wondering why you don’t have to go all that far actually. In the recent few days, perhaps the biggest news surrounding Delhi was not about some politician’s kin committing a cold-blooded murder or yet another robbery having to do with the Delhi-Gurgaon road. It was concerned with the environment, the only thing that Delhi perhaps ignores and needs to care more about.
Here’s what had transpired.
There was a huge furore- thankfully, Delhi woke up from its slumber- regarding the incessant falling of trees, regarding construction work for a government-driven project. It made little sense as to why new construction would befall existing lifeforms. But that’s the evil truth about this part of the century- we’ve got to contend with the worst around us.
And now, after plenty of remorse that, in one way or the other, had to be contended with, it seems, finally there’s a great positive news for the city of ‘Djins.’
It turns out that there’s a bold comprehensive new plan to plant more and more trees in Delhi. Soon, Delhi will have a wall of about approximately 31 lakh trees, if not less. This is, truth be told, one of those fantastic pieces of brightness that will light up an average, newspaper reading, chai-sipping, morning walking Delhi-ites day.
It appears that in an unprecedented move, both state and central administration bodies (or agencies) have come together to take a united stand regarding a massive new tree-initiative for the capital city.
And, in case, you were wondering just what was this massive tree-plantation drive all about, then you don’t have to ponder in confusion anymore. In a bid to create a green fortification of sorts- picture a barricaded fortification protecting Maharajas of Rajasthan from Mughals and others- for the modern-day New Delhi, the tree-plantation drive is about keeping dust and pollution at bay.
Truth be told, if there were a true nadir of the Indian capital in the current context then few other concerns would topple the weight of burgeoning concerns such as vehicular, industrial pollution and traffic. But while, there’s not much that could be done regarding industrial pollution, there’s something that can be done about fortifying the city from the constant pounding of heat and dust- a massive concern with the template of climate change at the backdrop.
In this regard, therefore, to have as many as 31 trees planted around Delhi’s periphery will act as a catalyst for much-needed change. This will act as a blanket or a green cover keeping pollution at bay. Think of it as a protective carbon layer, enriched with a greenness that perhaps not other remedial measures could bring. And that said, it has to be seen how well can this laborious (rather ambitious) initiative is implemented. Planning, often is one thing and its execution, quite another. But for now, kudos to those who thought about a waning city.