'Develop around greens, not through it'
Govind Singh, who works with Delhi Greens, a non-governmental organisation working on biodiversity and tree conservation issues, spoke to Darpan Singh on the need to change our policies and priorities.
There are so many laws to protect trees. Is adherence an issue?
Our policies and priorities have to change. When we have to build Metro lines or flyovers, trees are cut easily. Land-owning agencies such as the Delhi Development Authority and the Central Public Works Department think only in terms of the so-called development. Even agencies such as Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, which are given land for development, do not have a balanced view.
What needs to be done to stem Delhi's depleting green cover?
The whole concept of development through the green is flawed. It's time we changed mindset and begin thinking about the future. We must strive to ensure development around the green.
What role can the citizens play to reverse the trend?
Our callousness must go. Even common citizens don't feel much for the green cover. They apply for felling, often without valid reasons, and permissions by civic agencies as well as the forest department are granted without much thought being put in.
Why have sapling plantations failed to produce the desired results?
I don't question the intent. The government spends a lot of money in free distribution of saplings. But where is the monitoring? Do they ever care for the plants which dry at petrol pumps without being planted? Laws stipulate that for every tree that is felled, 10 saplings must be planted. But there's no monitoring. A good number of saplings never become trees.
(Govind Singh is a environmental activist)
Professor Nilofar Khan, who has 30 years of teaching experience, has been appointed as the first woman vice-chancellor of the University of Kashmir, officials said on Thursday. The order of appointment was issued by Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha in his capacity of being the chancellor of the university. She will be replacing Professor Talat Ahmad, who completed his second tenure as the V-C of the university which began in August 2018.
Given the spike in terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and threats issued by various terror outfits, the upcoming annual Amarnath Yatra starting June 30 to the cave shrine at 13,000ft in south Kashmir is going to be a litmus test for the government. One of the most revered Hindu pilgrimages in India, the yatra is resuming after two years.
Jammu divisional commissioner Ramesh Kumar along with additional director general of police, Jammu, Mukesh Singh, handed over an appointment letter and ex gratia to the family of Rahul Bhat, a migrant Kashmiri Pandit government employee who was gunned down in the Valley recently. A financial assistance of ₹5 lakh was also handed over to the family. Jammu deputy commissioner Avny Lavasa had also accompanied Kumar.
Following the conviction of banned JKLF chief Yasin Malik by a Delhi court in a terror funding case on Thursday, wife of late Squadron Leader Ravi Khanna, Shalini Khanna, said she was confident of getting justice for Yasin Malik. “Bad deeds lead to bad outcomes,” said the 70-year-old, while demanding Malik be sent to the gallows. Squadron leader Khanna was shot 27 times with an AK assault rifle.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Thursday claimed to have solved the Baramulla grenade attack case on a liquor shop with the arrest of four Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists and a terror associate. The police identified the four militants as Shahid Showkat Bala, Safeer Ahmad Mir, Moh Maroof Saleh and Faisal Shaban Gojri, all residents of Baramulla while their associate Hatif Ahmad Sofi was from Arampora.