Trenching damages trees in Lutyens’ Delhi
The Delhi forest department in a preliminary assessment report of the stretch on Monday found the “roots having been damaged”.
NEW DELHI: Roots of at least 21 trees on Tilak Lane in Lutyens’ Delhi have been found to be
“damaged” or “tampered with” during trenching work being carried out within one metre radius of the tree bases by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to lay electricity cables underground. The tree line on one side of the lane has been damaged because of the said construction activity.
The Delhi forest department in a preliminary assessment report of the stretch on Monday found the “roots having been damaged”. The work is being carried out near the Central Government Residential Complex on Tilak Lane.
According to officials, many of these are neem and peepal trees, which were fully-grown. “As per the inspection report, there are a number of trees on the stretch, roots of which were found to be damaged during the construction work being carried out by the NDMC.
We will write to the civic agency to take corrective measures to restore the tree bases immediately. Officials from the NDMC will have to appear for a personal hearing as well,” said Navneet Srivastava, deputy conservator of forest department (West division).
The Delhi forest department will also issue a show-cause notice to the NDMC for damaging tree bases, an offence under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act (DPTA), 1994. Also, any construction activity, digging, trenching or filling concrete within one metre of a tree trunk is a violation of the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) 2015 order.
Environment activist Verhaen Khanna said that the roots of 21 trees have been cut during the deep trenching work being done by the NDMC, under whose jurisdiction the area falls. However, a senior NDMC official said, “If trees have been damaged, we will take every step to ensure the trees are restored.”
Khanna, however, said that the roots of the trees being cut means the trees will weaken over time, since the roots being cut off from the soil will not be able to perform its basic function of taking water and nutrient uptake. “It will become hollow and will soon start drying up and die eventually. All of these are avenue trees, which act as a filter for air pollution,” said Khanna.
Environmental experts also said that damaging trees will also affect the flora and fauna endemic to the region that depend on trees for food and habitat.
Tree bases damaged
Delhi forest department will soon issue a show-cause notice to NDMC for damaging tree bases, an offence under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act. Any construction activity, digging, trenching or filling concrete within 1 metre of a tree is in violation of an NGT 2015 order
Ambedkar University pledges to plant 6,000 saplings in monsoon
New Delhi: Dr B R Ambedkar University here has pledged to plant 6,000 saplings in the coming monsoon, its Vice-Chancellor Anu Singh Lather said while launching a plantation drive at Dheerpur Wetland Project Site. The university launched the Monsoon Plantation Drive at the Dheerpur Wetland Project Site (DWPS) on the occasion of World Environment Day on Sunday. While inaugurating the drive, VC Lather said the varsity is committed to the development of the wetlands. “The team from AUD is working hard to develop the Dheerpur wetland. In the coming monsoon, the university has pledged to perform mass plantations with a goal of planting 6,000 saplings,” Lather said. The Center for Urban Ecology and Sustainability (CUES) has launched DWPS as a restoration project in compliance with a Memorandum of Agreement signed by the DDA and the Ambedkar University.
Felling trees unabated
At least 3 trees felled every hour in Delhi in last 3 years: Govt data
77,000 trees – permitted by Govt to be cut or transplant (or 3 trees/hour)
1/3rd or 33.33 per cent – of trees transplanted during the period survived
Sections 9, 29 - of Delhi Preservation of Trees Act (DPTA) allow agencies to cut or transplant trees
Offences registered for illegally cutting, damaging, pruning and concretising trees
In most cases, offenders have not submitted fines
Actual number of trees felled could be much more if number of trees cut illegally is considered
They fear that project proponents cut more trees than allowed over the years