Delhi

South Delhi witnesses ‘Chipko-like movement’

Green move: Hundreds of citizens hugged trees during a protest at Sarojini Nagar in New Delhi on Sunday.

Green move: Hundreds of citizens hugged trees during a protest at Sarojini Nagar in New Delhi on Sunday.  

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Hundreds protest against felling of 16,500 trees for infrastructure projects

Hundreds of people gathered in Sarojini Nagar on Sunday to protest against the proposed felling of nearly 16,500 trees for infrastructure projects in south Delhi.

Environmental groups and citizens from different parts of the Capital participated in the protest. They hugged trees and tied green ribbons around them.

“This is an ill-conceived plan, rife with illegalities,” said Anil Sood, who has filed a petition in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) regarding the issue.

Impact studies

“No environmental impact or traffic assessment has been undertaken. This is an ecologically sensitive area and the government does not realise the impact of rise in population density,” he said.

Champa Bhowmik, a resident of Netaji Nagar, said she has been sheltering birds who have lost their homes because of tree felling in her area for the past two months.

Nearly 3,000 trees are supposed to be cut in Netaji Nagar.

Ms. Bhowmik said 500 trees have already been felled. “I have written to the NGT, the New Delhi Municipal Council and the President but have not received replies from anyone,” she said.

The Aam Aadmi Party also took part in the protest.

Distancing the State government from the project, an AAP spokesperson said authorisation for cutting of trees was given by the Delhi Lieutenant-Governor and the Union Environment Ministry.

“We will not allow them to grant permission for cutting of more trees,” he said.

On the proposal to plant saplings as replacement for the trees cut, Mr. Sood said, “Compensatory afforestation is a farce. Till now they have not told us where they have undertaken replantation of trees cut at Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Central Information Commission building.”

‘Plants are dying’

Aaryan Dhankar, an environmentalist with a NGO, said, “There is a 50-acre plot in Rohini for replanting but they do not have water for plants. All the trees there are dying.”

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 7:42:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/south-delhi-witnesses-chipko-like-movement/article24248884.ece

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