Trees Dechoked: GK-I Residents Show the Way Against Concretization

tree being dechoked in greater kailash

Some of most of the majestic trees in Delhi are all 70-80 (maybe more) years old and form a part of the natural heritage of the city. Each time there is a thunderstorm that brings with it strong winds (of which there have been plenty lately), some of these trees get damaged and even uprooted. It seems (and so would ‘some’ tell us) that it was age that got these trees down. But closer observation reveals a story much more depressing than that.

As Delhi develops into the world class city that ‘many’ are working hard to make it, concretization is the key word. And the concerete does not seem to be seeing an electric pole apart from a tree. And even as much is being said to protect and increase the green cover in the city, the existing greens seem to be choking to death. Most trees are being surrounded by concrete to such an extent that it leaves no breathing space for the tree thus reducing their capacity to keep themself upright.

And all this, even when there exist guidelines from the Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation dated July 21, 2000, which specify that an area of six foot by six foot should be left “uncemented” around each tree to ensure that it gets enough breathing space. Add to that, is  a court order that came out on December 19, 2007  after a petition was made to the High Court and taken up by Advocate Ritwick Dutta and Rahul Choudhary as an attempt to reinforce this guideline.

Click here to Download the Honorable High Court’s Order Against Concretisation and Choking of Trees

Save TreesThe above was enough for Padmavati Dwivedi and her friends in her GK-I colony to persuade the Government, MCD and related authorities to follow the rules, uphold the law and remove the concrete cement from around all trees in their part of the colony.

The shocking condition of the trees in the GK-I colony had been moving and painful for several of GK-I residents including Padmavati. The latter decided to do something about it and began her phone/fax camapaign by writing to the Chief Minister, and related officers. Before long, she heard from the CM’s office and on 29th April 2009 , workers from the MCD began their work to free the trees in GK-I.

The de-concretization did see some opposition from some residents, especially those who had gotten it done themselves, but the enthusiasm for conserving nature and perserving natural heritage and the court order ensured that the work has been continuing and over 60 trees have been freed till date. What is now needed is a citywide initiative to take this campaign to every colony and complex in Delhi.

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Govind Singh
About 

Dr. Govind Singh is an Environmentalist, Academician and Consultant based in Delhi and is the Co-Founder of Delhi Greens NGO. He holds a Master's and Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of Delhi. Dr. Govind Singh has over six years experience of teaching in the University of Delhi and over twelve years experience of working in the Environmental Sector.

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4 thoughts on “Trees Dechoked: GK-I Residents Show the Way Against Concretization

  1. even i hav put the high court notification with an appliation to free the trees
    i am thinking of putting rti
    need support of people to do it for complete delhi

  2. Great to know that someone is caring for the trees……..I am pained to see beautiful trees having no breathing space for their roots….my best wishes to all who are doing this noble work…God bless u all…..and God bless our trees.

  3. AN APPEAL FOR MOTHER EARTH!

    Dear All,
    Good Day!
    Through this network, I would like to appeal for the following. We all know about the havoc already been done by us towards environment. Here is a chance to do our bid today, on the Environment Day. May I request you not to drive your car 5th June unless you have medical reason for the same? If your workplace is far off, you may try to use a public transport system rather than your own car; if it is nearer, go for cycling or walking. By doing so we may register our contribution towards a low carbon economy and a cleaner environment.
    Kindly forward the request to all your acquaintances since contribution of
    everyone counts.
    I am sure you will feel good for doing something rather than only discussing on
    carbon emission.
    With best regards,
    Yours truly,
    Pradip Dey (A Feeler for Mother Earth)

  4. Pingback: Invite to the Release of First Tree Census Report in Delhi at IIC

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