NEW DELHI: Snowballing into a nationwide controversy the redevelopment plan of South Delhi area to construct government accommodation has hit a bump with locals in large numbers recreating the famous 1973's 'ChipkoAndolan ' (Tree Hugging movement) in order to save more than 16,000 full grown trees from being razed to the ground on Sunday.
Citizens from all age groups took to the streets near Sarojni Nagar metro station and scores of them hugged the trees near the flats which are to be razed and forming groups around large trees holding placards saying Save Trees Save Delhi, Don't Cut Down life Cut Your Greed.
Word of felling a large chunk trees spread like wildfire and social media campaigns to support the non-violent environment to protect the trees are being organized, giving the issue a political turn, Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain joined the protesters to show solidarity.
The Aam Aadmi Party even organized a press conference to register its grave concerns over felling of trees. The protest was held for the second day, organised under the banner of the 'Delhi Trees SOS' campaign and will continue for the next few days.
"The redevelopment should be shifted to such a place where there is not so much harm to the trees. We will not less this happen, I will request Delhi LG Anil Baijal and Union minister Hardeep Puri to not turn this area into a concrete jungle" said Hussain.
He along with other party leaders Saurabh Bhardwaj and Raghav Chadda reached the protest site in the evening.
Meanwhile a petition has been moved in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against cutting of trees. According to the petition, fully grown trees are being chopped in premier locations of South Delhi, instance - Netaji Nagar, Naroji Nagar, the entities have not taken permission from Delhi Pollution Control Commission (DPCC) , the prime authority to take permission for cutting trees on Delhi land.
"The government is very casual on this case. For the last four months I was asking the government about its environmental clearance. For three months I got no replies. How can you openly violate law? I didn't receive any response from conservator of forests, that means government doesn't have permission" said petitioner Anil Sood.