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Issue 5
May , 2007
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Don't let trees be cut: DU scholars urge VC

Source: Toxics Link, Date: May , 2007

The ongoing assualt on trees in the city is evoking reactions from those who have lived and worked around them for decades and thus know their significance, perhaps more than those indiscriminately writing them off from the plans for modernisation. Over 75 people, including scholars, students and staff, from University of Delhi have written to the Vice Chancellor Professor Deepak Pental, stating their deep concern over reports of 1,000 trees on the campus sports facility having been marked for felling to erect a rugby ground, which will be used for the Commonwealth Games.

Following is the text of the letter, submitted om May 4, 2007, and list of signatories:

Save Delhi University’s Green Heritage

 

Dear Professor Pental,

We were dismayed to read in the Hindustan Times (New Delhi, April 25, 2007) that 1,000 trees around the university sports ground are marked for felling to make a rugby field for the Commonwealth Games 2010. We believe that such large-scale destruction of invaluable old trees will seriously damage Delhi University’s green heritage and our city’s already threatened environment. We urge you to reconsider this project and halt the planned tree-felling.

The beauty of our North campus lies in large part in its majestic trees. Nowhere else in north Delhi can we find such a diversity of species. The campus trees create a continuous green belt between the University and the Ridge. They provide shade to our students for study and recreation, and to our university employees a respite from Delhi’s gruelling heat. They are an invaluable ecological habitat, sheltering diverse bird species, including the red-crested flameback, the green pigeon, and the spotted owlet. They create serenity and inspire scholarship. The campus will not be the same without these trees.

We could accept the sacrifice of some trees for a project of great importance, but felling so many for a one-time sports event is unjustified. We need well-maintained multifunctional facilities for locally popular sports. Rugby is not a major sport among our students but, if needed, the large university ground near the Police Lines, Vijay Nagar, can be used for the purpose. You may recall that, before the 1982 Asian Games, large stands of massive putranjiva (Putranjiva roxburghii) and saptaparni (Alstonia scholaris) trees were felled to make way for the University sports complex. Trees that take decades to mature were cut to construct buildings that have remained severely under-utilized for the last 25 years. Surely we should not repeat our mistake?

Arguments such as compensatory afforestation and transplantation sound good on paper but fail to convince on the ground. Young saplings planted elsewhere cannot compensate for neighbourhood trees of great age, beauty and diversity. Nor can they resettle displaced birds. Recent audits by environmental groups also show that transplanted trees rarely survive. Neither measure can compensate for tree loss on our campus.

As concerned teachers, students, and citizens who work or live on the University campus, we appeal to you to cancel the proposed project. As Vice-Chancellor, on whom rests responsibility for the university’s long-term welfare, we urge you to protect these trees which are our heritage, and ensure that they are not sacrificed to short term pressures.

SIGNATORIES TO APPEAL TO THE VICE CHANCELLOR, DELHI UNIVERSITY

(List of 75 signatures from Delhi Univ, of faculty, students and staff of the Institute of Economic Growth, Depts of Economics and Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, others)

Name

Designation and affiliation

Signature

Amita Baviskar

Professor, Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), Delhi Univ. campus

Hand signed

Bina Agarwal

Professor, Institute of Economic Growth, DU campus

Hand signed

Pulin B. Nayak

Director, Delhi School of Economics (DSE), Delhi Univ.

Hand signed

Kanchan Chopra

Director, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Mrinal Dutta Chowdhury

Professor, DSE, Delhi Univ

Hand signed

Jean Dreze

Professor, DSE, Delhi Univ

Hand signed

Partha Sen

Professor, DSE, Delhi Univ

Hand signed

Shreekant Gupta

Reader, DSE, Delhi Univ

Hand signed

B. Dutta

Professor, DSE, Delhi Univ

Hand signed

A. Bhattacharjea

Professor, DSE, Delhi Univ

Hand signed

K.L. Krishna

Professor, DSE, Delhi Univ

Hand signed

Tista Bacchi

Professor, Dept of linguistics, DU

Hand signed

Satish Deshpande

Prof. Dept of Sociology, DU

Hand signed

Neera Chandhoke

Professor of Pol. Science, DU

By email

Ashwini Deshpande

Reader, DSE, Delhi Univ

Hand signed

Nandini Sundar

Prof., Dept of Sociology, DU

Hand signed

M.N. Murty

Professor(Rtd.) IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

B. Jha

Associate Prof., IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Pradeep Agrawal

Professor, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

B.N. Goldar

Professor, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Arup Mitra

Professor, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Nilabjha Ghosh

Associate Prof., IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

T.A. Bhavani

Professor, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Ram Singh

Reader, DSE, Delhi Univ

Hand signed

A. Banerji

Reader, DSE, Delhi Univ

Hand signed

S.Kar

Assoc. Prof. IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Veena Naregal

Assoc. Prof., IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

R.P. Tyagi

Asstt. Prof., IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Pravakar Sahoo

Associate Prof., IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Moneer Alam

Professor, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Rohini Somanathan

Reader DSE, Delhi Univ

Hand signed

Deepak Mehta

Reader. Dept of Sociology, DU

Hand signed

Meena Radhakrishanan

Reader. Dept of Sociology, DU

Hand signed

Jayoti Gupta

Reader. Dept of Sociology, DU

Hand signed

Sudha Vasan

Reader. Dept of Sociology, DU

Hand signed


SIGNATORIES TO APPEAL TO THE VICE CHANCELLOR, DELHI UNIVERSITY contd/-


Name

Designation and affiliation

Signature

Meenakshi Thapan

Professor of Sociology

By email

Tila Kumar

Lecturer, Dept of Sociology, DU

Hand signed

Anjali Bhatia

Reader, sociology, Lady Sriram College

By email

Pooja Gupta

Reader, DSE, DU

By email

Hemanshu Kumar

Lecturer(Adhoc) DSE, Delhi Univ

Hand signed

Sanjeev Sharma

System Administrator, DSE, DU

Hand signed

Nira Goyal

Lecturer, Econ. Deptt., DSE, DU

Hand signed

Lokendra Kumawat

Lecturer, Eco. Ramjas College,

Hand signed

Dinesh Kumar

Junior OA, Centre for Dev., DU

Hand signed

Raghubansh Singh

Research Fellow, IEG,DU campus

Hand signed

Gagandeep Kaur

R. Analyst, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Preeti Kaur

Data Entry Oper.IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Preeti Kapuria

Consultant, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Vikram Dayal

Assist. Prof., IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Shilpy Nagalia

Researh Officer, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Preeti Upadhyay

Research Fellow, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

S. Malini

R. Analyst, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Mayur Trivedi

Ass. Professor, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Pradeep Guin

Jr. Consultant, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Manoj K. Pandey

Jr. Consultant, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Ram Ashish Yadav

R. Analyst, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Rajnish Kumar

SRA, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Palash Barua

RA, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Shailash Kumar

RA, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Kanishka Kachar

R Analyst, IEG, DU campus

Hand signed

Ankur Biswas

M.A. Student, DSE, DU

Hand signed

Suresh Kumar

DSE, Student, M.A. DU

Hand signed

Indrajit Mitra

DSE, Student, M.A. , DU

Hand signed

Sandeep Agarwal

DSE, Student, M.A, DU

Hand signed

Ritobrata Roy

DSE, Student, M.A, DU

Hand signed

Suresh Kumar

Helper to Electrician, DU

Hand signed

Ashok Kumar

Safai Karmachari, DSE, DU

Hand signed

Rajesh Papna J

Sr.Asstt.Centre for Eco. Dev, DSE

Hand signed

Papiya Ghosh

RA, DSE, DU

By email

Surjeet Singh

Sr. OA, Center for Dev. Eco.,DSE

Hand signed

Dipankar Khlita

Hansraj College Student, DU

Hand signed

Indrajit Sinha Ray

Student, DSE, Delhi Univ

Hand signed

Nandeep Sahni

Student, DSE, Delhi Univ

Hand signed

Abhineet Agarwal

Msc.(P) Student, DSE, DU

Hand signed

Snaila Bahl

Msc.(P) Student, DSE, DU

Hand signed

Partha Pratim

Msc.(P) Student, DSE, DU

Hand signed

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