Back to square one
“No trees would be cut in the process of redevelopment of seven colonies in South Delhi”, said the Housing and Urban Affairs Minister around two weeks back when the protests flared up. But, the latest update says that NBCC, the government-owned real-estate company, has got the nod from the Environment Ministry for development in Sarojini Nagar. And, in the process, around 11,000 trees will be cut.
What happened two weeks back?
The central government’s proposal to fell nearly 17,000 trees to make room for a housing project led to an unusual sight of protesting citizens hugging trees in the heart of the National Capital Region. Hence, Delhi saw its own version of Chipko movement.
How big was the movement?
The capital saw people across the political spectrum joining hands to put pressure on the government to stop cutting of trees and save Delhi from an impending ecological disaster.
Why were the people so outraged?
The city is already distinctively known for being the most polluted city in the world. People of Delhi have shown that they can come out on the streets to protest, like they did after the infamous Delhi rape case.
The government’s rationale…
There is a shortage of accommodation for government employees in the capital. The project work was expedited due to a long list of waiting government officials for eligible housing. The government assures that the lost green cover will be compensated 15 times.