At a time when the national capital is struggling to cope with severe air pollution levels, reports suggest that around 16,500 trees will be felled in South Delhi, for redevelopment projects.
According to a Times of India report, the Environment Impact Assessment report for the projects to be redeveloped around South Delhi show that in Sarojini Nagar around 11,000 out of the existing 13,128 trees will be felled. In Netaji Nagar, 3,033 out of 3,906 trees will be axed. Around 1,465 out of 1,513 trees will be cut in Nauroji Nagar and 520 trees will be cut in Kasturba Nagar. The numbers from RK Puram are yet to be released.
Aditya Prasad, an environmental lawyer, has filed a petition with the National Green Tribunal against the plan and has requested authorities to accommodate the trees in the development plan, rather than cutting them down.
The projects will be carried out by NBCC, which had earlier come under fire for felling 1,713 trees at Pragati Maidan. AK Mittal, NBCC’s chairperson said, “We plan to start compensatory planting in these places as soon as the construction work is over and make them lush green like at New Moti Bagh.”
Juhi Saklani, a green activist, launched a campaign to save these trees under the slogan ‘Delhi Tree SOS’ partnering with Jhatkaa, an advocacy that is planning to gather over 1 lakh signatures to be presented to the Union environment and urban development ministries.
New Delhi Nature Society (NDNS) founder, Verhaen Khanna was of the view that the loss of trees will impact the quality of air and affect the habitat of birds and other wildlife.