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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

Let down by govt, tree activists pin hope on green tribunal

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 22, 2013
First Published: 23:42 IST(22/4/2013) | Last Updated: 23:43 IST(22/4/2013)

A group of citizens in south Delhi’s Sarvodaya Enclave who conducted the Capital’s maiden tree census last year are a worried lot these days.

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They won laurels from the administration for their extraordinary work. But now personnel of the same administration are allegedly not letting them take care of trees found damaged in the survey.

“On Sunday, a head constable of Delhi Police stood with people who did not want to de-choke trees on their premises. He said I should sit at home and had no business seeking de-choking of trees. The cop didn’t give me a copy of the complaint I filed and asked me to visit the police station,” said a resident.

“I will look into the matter and appropriate action would be taken,” said a senior police officer of the area. “I wonder whose earth it is. People cannot choke and kill trees at public spaces, blocking groundwater recharge,” said Padmavati Dwivedi, who led the census team. 

However, they are not alone. There are a whole lot of activists who have been running form pillar to post to free trees of concrete. Aditya N Prasad, whose petition against the government and civic agencies will come up for hearing at the National Green Tribunal on Tuesday, said, “Central rules issued in the year 2000 say an area of 6X6 feet around each tree should be left vacant. The Delhi High Court had in 2007 ordered de-choking of trees in the Capital but the progress has been extremely slow. The problem lies in the implementation.” Rajiv Dutta, senior Supreme Court advocate, said, “We’re geared up for the hearing at the tribunal. That’s the only hope.”


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