Image credits: Hindustan Times
“To be without trees would, in the most literal way, to be without our roots.”
― Richard Mabey
My beloved city, Delhi’s silent guardians face a bleak future… and we’re banking on you to save them!
Yes, I’m referring to its ancient and majestic trees that bore witness to generations of people, housed innumerable secrets, inspired meaningful thoughts and stirred soulful conversations… These trees now face a threat.
The Ridge Management Board has approved 5 development projects that could involve the felling of close to a 100 trees that are a part of the eco-sensitive zone of the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary.
What are these development projects?
A new Laboratory Complex by Inter-University Accelerator Centre, near JNU
An Admin block of IGNOU in Maidangarhi
A Central Armed Police Forces Institute of Medical Sciences in Maidangarhi
An office building by Asian Development Bank
A 10.5 km approach road from Chattarpur to SAARC University
These projects are still awaiting an approval from the Central Empowered Committee. If the CEC gives a green signal, these trees will be lost forever!
The price nature pays for development
The projects are ambitious, and they promise progress—laboratories, administrative buildings, a medical institute, and even a new road. But there is a price to pay—the felling or transplanting of nearly 100 trees. It is a steep cost for development, one that can never be repaid.
Delhi grapples with poor AQI for a large number of days in a year… depleting green cover may exacerbate this, inviting a range of health issues of its citizens. The children, the elderly and pregnant women are already in a vulnerable position, with AQI reaching hazardous levels on some days. And These trees are our defense against the looming climate crisis. Extreme weather events like heatwaves, torrential rainfall, flash floods and droughts have become common parlance. A depleting green cover could make these issues more frequent and thus threaten entire species of plants and animals.
As Delhi faces scorching summer temperatures, these trees offer respite, providing shade and comfort to those seeking refuge beneath their boughs. They are the unsung heroes, silently working to keep our city liveable and breathable.
Innumerable species of animals and insects call the trees their home… Infringing upon their habitat will leave us humans paying a hefty price!
A Call to Action
The situation is dire, but we haven’t lost hope! The Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court still holds the power to intervene and halt the plan of axing these trees in the name of development. It is time for the people of Delhi to join hands and protect our natural heritage.
Our team has filed an RTI with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, as well as with the Central Empowered Committee, seeking updates on whether the clearance has been granted or not by the CEC. Keep following us on social media to stay informed on the latest developments.
By signing the petition to save these 100 trees, you aren’t just protecting the environment; you are safeguarding the well-being of our community and addressing the global challenge of climate change. Every signature is a promise to keep the balance between development and ecological preservation. After all, it is a story of coexistence, where man and nature thrive together.
It’s time to stand up for the unsung heroes and ensure their story doesn’t end with the roar of a chainsaw.
Image credits: So Delhi
Image credits: Zigya.com