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Issue 5
May , 2007
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* INTERVIEW

Delhi speaks for its trees

Parvinder Singh
Source: Toxics Link, Date: May , 2007

Ever since a sign-on campaign was launched in the month of March to allow citizens of Delhi to express solidarity with the demand to stop heavy felling of old neighbourhood trees in some of capital's greenest avenues to make way for High Capacity Bus Service corridor, messages have poured in from a wide cross section of people on what they feel and opine on the issue.

We take you through some of these expressions, which reveal that citizens have much to offer, contrary to what our urban planners believe, if only those at the helm of affairs cared to listen.

"There are words all over the newspaper stating: India the next Superpower. This may be true, and if this is the case, protect your resources, trees, animals and all the myriads of environmental variables that go into maintaining a balanced ecosystem. Let the world see the next Superpower as a people who are concerned about the Earth; keep the trees intact. People are starting to wake up, it is no longer about money and our governments, it's about the Earth and humanity as a whole! Save your trees!" 

Shelly Peters

"15 days of Commonwealth Games, a chapter of Delhi's history torn out to make space for more vehicular traffic, I feel proud of the vibrant green that surrounds us, without it, it's akin to stripping of a woman off her modesty, to nakedness. Please stop, I am sure you can find another way to your traffic woes, i rather walk than ride on a cemetery laden with dead trees." 

Palak Singh

"Metro construction will prove to be another nail in Delhi's coffin. The number of trees sacrificed is substantial and increasing. Metro Corporation's claims of planting 10 trees for every uprooted tree is bogus and misleading. A walk on Barakhamba Road will show the hollowness of Metro's claims. The saplings have all died out long ago. Moreover, a large number of tree saplings are that of phycus species, primarily an ornamental tree. We need than a petition to stop this."

Wilson John

"Why can't the road design be innovative to minimise the felling of trees? Subsequent, to the road construction, no trees are planted. For example, the Panchsheel club flyover took away 70 trees and none were planted after that. Then the central divide were re-cemented (God knows for what reasons) and all trees in the central divide were felled. Subsequently, no planting of trees have taken place. A tree takes so many years to grow and it takes just an insensitive attitude to waste away all that time.

anonynmous

"I appeal to the Delhi Government to draft policies in consultations with people of Delhi, so that policies reflect the views of citizen for whom benefit these are prepared.

Preeti Puri

"It's not just shocking but plain insensitive that the Delhi Government takes the easiest way out to create much needed infrastructure. Cutting trees and making roads or new games' sites is blatant abuse of the power vested in the govt's hands by the common man to improve facilities. If we, the denizens of Delhi, had been aware about what the Commonwealth Games would entail for Delhi, with respect to environmental damage, neither us nor the Games Committee would have awarded the games to New Delhi."

Ramit Mitra

"We also demand for planting of more trees... that'll provide shade and colours to Delhi in different seasons. After trees are cut very efficiently and silently over a single night, small shrubs replace these. Metro reports trees are being planted ...where we cannot see...planting trees in some far away reclaimed land is not the only solution..trees need to be replanted in the localities where they have been cut. New constructions flout rules regarding green spaces in buildings like in Gurgaon."

"The number of trees to be cut for all projects related to the Delhi Commonwealth Games should be disclosed. The Government should publish an in-depth report for the same and allow a system for public to view the rehabilitation of the trees that have already been cut."

Gaurav Gogoi

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