“Cities are not only made by humans but an entire civilisation that includes everything that breathes; let us not forget the trees”
Despite there being several alarm calls being raised every now and again regarding the fate of trees and the general environment being in disarray in Delhi, nothing ever budges; nothing seems to change.
A few days before, there was a lot of furore and drama regarding the cutting down of trees in Delhi. This was said to be necessary for lines with the construction of a government officers’ houses and a private commercial complex.
And this wasn’t any other move. It was reported that at least, as many as 17,000 trees were being cut. This is no ordinary number. For a city that is trying to desperately save every bit of green amid the parallel narrative of an endlessly sprawling commercial development, this was nothing ordinary. This was, actually a severe blow of sorts.
And now it seems that some sanity has prevailed, at least, for some amount of time. The Delhi High Court, thankfully, made an important ruling that no more trees shall be cut, at least, till July 2. The decision has been taken with regards to the construction of the same building complex for the government.
It would be only stating the obvious to suggest that the project has been termed controversial by everyone and the important ruling comes in at the right time by the Green Tribunal, bringing a sigh of relief. The next hearing in this matter is said to take place on July 4.
And the controversial project has the following technical explanation to it. The court’s remarks followed the corporation’s statement that jurisdiction in environmental clearance to a central government project was with the National Green Tribunal. At a time where there seems to be many in Delhi who just don’t seem to care about the waning state of the environment, a petitioner has questioned the stand of the government, that is investing energies toward the redevelopment of several colonies in Southern Delhi.
An orthopaedic surgeon by profession, petitioner, KK Mishra has questioned the central government’s decision to cut thousands of trees in Delhi, in lines with a mega redevelopment drive that is to be initiated in seven colonies. This again is a controversial decision that has left many seething in rage.
At this time, there are several protests in New Delhi on the matter. The government, however, has suggested that for the number of trees cut, as many saplings will be planted in order to make up for the loss. However, this hasn’t gone down well with the city’s residents- and that’s a bright move of sorts.
Delhi residents have, quite simply, rubbished aside the assurances made by the government to plant as many saplings to cover for the loss. There is often a gap between promise and real delivery. Saplings, the environmentalists have argued, cannot replace fully grown trees for years in Delhi, which is among the most-polluted cities in the world. At the time where the central government has been criticised and lamented for its, rather lackadaisical attitude toward ensuring the upkeep of the environment, there is a ray of hope offered by the Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development.
The city needs many a crusader to act forthrightly and positively toward siding with the environment. And therefore, the words of the minister come as a great reprieve amidst the punishing decisions being planned by the government.”Till the time I am a minister no tree will be cut and for every tree that is cut we will plant 10 trees. Green cover will go up by three times after re-development of seven colonies in South Delhi. Young activists are too fast to blame.”