When Priyanka Chakra-varty, a student of MA Political Science in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), and her friends got back to classes after winter vacations, they were shocked to find dozens of trees and shrubs missing from near Parthasarthy Rock, said to be the highest point in Delhi.
“As you entered the area, there was only a narrow path leading to the rocks, with trees and shrubs all around. Now, there are less than half the number of trees,” she said.
The JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU), backed by all parties and even faculty members, are up in arms against the rampant hacking of trees.
JNUSU president Sandeep Singh said that more than 50 per cent of the trees in the area had been felled. “We have got to know that the administration is going to allow films and advertisements to be shot in the area,” he alleged.
Youth For Equality president Raghiv Akhtar said he felt that greenery was an essential part of the JNU campus. “We have filed an RTI application against the university, asking why the trees have been cut,” he said.
However, JNU rector Ram Adhikari Kumar said he was not aware of any trees being hacked. “I am not aware of any trees being cut. Last month we had our alumni meet there. So, for that we had the footpath cleared. We trimmed the wild grass and cleaned up the area of a few shrubs to facilitate entry for the programme, which many people attended. The area was left unused for quite some time, and as there is an open-air amphitheatre there, the clean up was required.”