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Don’t chop, #SaveDelhiTrees, say impassioned Delhiites

Delhiites make a heartfelt appeal to the authorities to save the 16, 500 trees, which might be felled to clear space for proposed projects such as housing and more. This movement is against the government decision to chop down 17k trees in the Capital.

delhi Updated: Jun 27, 2018 17:58 IST
Ruchika Garg
Ruchika Garg
Hindustan Times
Save Trees,Chipko Movement,Sarojini Nagar
Delhiites come together against government’s decision to chop down 17,000 trees in the Capital.

The Capital of India is not only known for being a city of culture and a powerhub but is also infamous for women safety issues and alarming level of pollution that plagues the air. So, it came as a rude shock when reports of government’s decision to chop down 17,000 tress, for various projects, started making rounds.

Delhiites rose to the occasion, and discussed the report on social media and various messaging platforms to urge the government to not clear the felling down of trees. “At a time when one should be walking with five trees on our heads, for each one of us to be able to face the pollution situation,” says Sagar Kohli, a Delhiite.

To ensure that the city’s green cover remains intact, people gathered at Sarojini Nagar and hugged trees in the vicinity, reminding one of the Chipko Andolan of 1973 - the well-known forest conservation movement of Uttarakhand. Sonam Yangden, a Delhiite, says: “No amount of compensatory afforestation can justify the felling of trees.”

Some Delhiites even requested others to give a missed call on certain numbers and support the cause whereas a few others initiated a signature campaign for this cause.

The felling has been put on hold by the High Court till July 4, when they will hear the matter and take a call. Meanwhile, here’s what Delhiites feel:

Kanika Sharma is an advocate.

Kanika Sharma, a lawyer in High Court, says, “The issue of environmental degradation is discussed on the world forum. Not just our country but the entire globe is trying to deal with this problem, and here in Delhi we are talking about cutting down the trees. And look at the come back, planting saplings instead? Really? It takes at least two years for a sapling to fully grow into a tree. If you can’t take care of an already existing tree, at least don’t destroy them. We are Delhiites and you can’t ignore our calls. Time for Delhiites to show we care. We will continue this people’s movement.”

Kavya Gupta is a student of DU.

Kavya Gupta, a student Delhi University, says, “There is already too much of air and noise pollution in the Capital and instead of coming up with a solution, they thought of chopping down the trees. It’s so irresponsible. Also, Delhi is known for its green cover, its looks so beautiful during rainy season when it gets covered with greenery. If the trees will be cut down, the Capital will loose its charm.”

Vijeta Singh is a DU student.

Vijeta Singh, a student of College of Vocational Studies, Delhi University, says, “South Delhi is a residential area and is already too congested. The area lacks resources and building more residential societies is not a good idea. They are already chopping trees for other development projects. If they need space to build houses, there are other locations, too. The alternate plan to plant saplings sound unworthy. There is no dedicated body to keep a count on the sapling plantation.The government needs to see the truth before coming up with such plans.”

Sagar Kohli is a model and entrepreneur.

Sagar Kohli, an entrepreneur, says, “Delhi has an insane level of pollution. People should be walking around with trees instead of phones in their hands, to make this situation better; and not fell 17,000 trees! The situation is serious. We ought to increase the green cover of the city. I understand that it has been proposed that for every tree felled, there will be 10 trees planted, but saplings are no match to a full grown tree. We should plant those many saplings anyway. Also, what happens to all the trees which are chopped? Are they sold? Where does the money go?”

Sonam Yangden is a fitness instructor in the Capital.

Sonam Yangden, a fitness instructor, says, “I’m from Bhutan; when I came to India, I loved the fact that Delhi is so green. Delhi’s green cover is not only its lungs but also its character. We don’t have the luxury to reduce it, instead we should be increasing it to fight pollution. Also, the green cover makes Delhi charming.”

Pradeep Dhariwal is an advocate.

Pradeep Dhariwal, advocate, Delhi High Court, says, “Delhi is among the most polluted cities in the world; and I won’t be surprised if tops the chart someday. What works for me and probably for most of the Delhiites, too, is to come up with a proposal where there is a way to decentralise many projects. Why not do all the construction at a location which is not so green. I’m sure people won’t mind that. And Sarojini Nagar is already too crowed and cluttered. Then, why to put more burden on one specific location? Pressure on resources will be another challenge.”

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First Published: Jun 27, 2018 17:57 IST