The Central Government had presented a plan of cutting 16500 trees in various areas of Delhi to provide land for building government flats, offices and commercial space.
Today, many people protested against this act of government. According to them, Delhi is already in clutches of pollution and cutting trees will only increase the problem.
Sarojini Nagar is the most polluted area in Delhi and the initial plan mentioned about cutting 11,000 trees in the area. A huge rally was held today at Sarojini Nagar to show the disregard that people have with respect to the plan.
Central Government stated that an equal number of saplings will be planted to cover the environmental loss. However, this plan is considered rubbish by the people of Delhi. Saplings will take time to grow and will take even more time to produce the amount of oxygen that the trees produced. This is a big no no for a polluted city like Delhi.
Around 100 Delhiites gathered at a venue in Sarojini Nagar on Saturday and formed the word “resist” by lighting candles. People held placards with slogans like “Mujhe Mat Maro”, “Don’t cut down a life” and “NBCC ke log aaye ped kaatne mere gaon mein, thak kar baith gaye ped ki chhaon mein”.
The protest is being organised under the banner ‘Delhi Trees SOS’. “We have been organising protests for the last two days and we will be doing it for the entire week. We all are concerned about the environment, and so we are here, and anyone who feels for the cause has joined us. We will be going around in this area, hugging trees and tying Rakhis to them on Sunday, until the plan is dropped.”, said Juhi, one of the founder members of the group.
“I’m not an environmentalist. When I read the news about the proposal to cut trees for development, I thought that we need to immediately take action to stop it. I created a WhatsApp group and added environmentalists and those working in this field. I have joined different protests also, and we will be organising a protest on Sunday on a much larger scale.” said Prerna Prasad, a volunteer.
The protest was joined by residents of Sarojini Nagar and youngsters. “Last November, the situation was so bad in Delhi that not just me, but all my friends had to buy masks. I don’t want to wear a mask again this year, and therefore I’ve joined the protest. We can’t stop going to school during smog, but we can at least try to save trees.”, said Shubho Mukherjee, a resident of the area and a school student.
The development had a political impact as well. A cold war on Twitter is raging between union minister Hardeep Puri and people of Delhi. He was massively trolled by users for his response on questions. People tagged PM Narendra Modi in their tweets and complained about the plan and asked him to take over the housing ministry.