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Dare you fell trees: government told

Surfers fail to see the rationale behind the move to axe 1,000 trees within Delhi University campus for the Commonwealth Games.

delhi Updated: Apr 26, 2007 13:36 IST

The plan to fell 1,000 trees in the campus of Delhi University to make way for a Rugby stadium has enraged many surfers. We've received angry letters condemning the move. Here are a few samples.

15-year-old Saurabh Agrawal thought it was wiser to transplant the trees rather than cutting them if at all we had to build one such stadium.

"After reading the news of felling down of trees in DU campus, I can imagine what will happen to Delhi. In an attempt to improve the city's condition to host the Commonwealth Games, we are actually destroying it. Of course, it is needed to remove trees from there to build a sports complex but it is not necessary to cut the trees. They can be transplanted just like DMRC has done for its project. We have huge areas in the capital where these trees can be transplanted."

Sunil Kumar, President, Debating Society, Hans Raj College wrote in to say that they were doing their bit to ensure that the trees stay.

"I saw your article regarding felling of trees in the DU campus. But I would like to inform you that we the students of Hans Raj College have taken a very tough attitude towards it, and we will not allow even a single tree to be felled."

"The debating society of our college is talking to various college officials and nature lovers, and are confident to hold this step back by either legal action or student protest movement. This act of Delhi government cannot be justified on any ground as it is a risk for environment."

Menta Mary Joseph, who is attached to an organisation called Lead Generation Program, had this to say.

"This is a ridiculous effort. One should work towards arranging another suitable stadium or ground, but cutting down 1,000 tress does not make sense and will have terrible effect on our environment."

"In case the authorities do plan to cut down trees, there seems to be no tangible efforts to plant at least twice the number of tress they plan to chop down. Which is even more depressing!"

"I strongly feel that India does not need such development at the cost of environment. Please, there is enough land available to build sports complexes."

K Rajagopalan from Gurgaon too was very upset.

"It is atrocious that a 1,000 trees have to be felled for a Rugby stadium, a sport not even popular in India, as part of the forthcoming Commonwealth Games!"

"First the government should stop all such activity. The Games have to be organised without affecting ecology. Further, instead of spending and indeed hosting Commonwealth Games, let us improve the standard of our popular games like football, hockey, volleyball, tennis, and badminton where once we dominated at least in the Asian level."

Point taken!

Strongly condemning the move, Vineet Singh also lauded HT for showing the way by publishing such stories.

"This is absolutely preposterous! The government's decision to cut 1,000 trees for the Commonwealth Games, just about displays the incompetence and the lack of ideas that it suffers from. And since nature can't speak for itself, nor hold strikes, in most cases it bears the brunt of these inane decisions. Well, not anymore. I appreciate what HT is doing to ameliorate the conditions of the city, be it roads, flyovers or environment and wish it keeps up the good work going."

V Chakravarty from Faridabad too was very disturbed with the report.

"Reference your front page article dated Wednesday (April 25, 2007) 'For a rugby field 1,000 Delhi University trees face the axe'. This is an absolutely ridiculous act, which should be strongly condemned. It raises many concerns as to how callous and insensible the authorities can get in the name of development. With such activities days are not far off when our ecology will go all wrong threatening human existence. I urge all responsible citizens and especially the student community of Delhi University to raise their voices against this planned activity and stop it."

Dr Gurinder Harnam Singh, Janki Devi Memorial College, University of Delhi had this to say.

"Imagine... if one thousand speechless human beings were made to stand together and massacred... such is going to be the plight of these trees. This should not be allowed to happen at any cost. The site for Commonwealth Games should be selected where no harm is done to trees and the environment is not compromised upon. This clearly shows the double standards of the authorities. I, as a responsible citizen, am totally against this. Some very concrete steps have to be taken before it is too late."

Dr Shifalika Goenka too was very angry with the authorities.

"Cut the trees and record the number of sick people before and after the cutting of trees after a gap of 7-9 years. There will be more diseases, more episodes of respiratory problems in children and adults, more cancers and more chronic diseases, and more infectious diseases in the summer; the communities around will be less healthy. So, will it be these sick people playing in the rugby field? We take for granted these silent safeguards and take the protective shield that these trees offer."

All views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the surfers and do not necessarily represent those of

First Published: Apr 26, 2007 12:20 IST