August 01, 2017

Green activist members launch online petition to save 1700 Pragati Maidan trees from being axed.

by Prince Chandran

Recently the Delhi government and the forest department had given permission to cut down 1700 trees in the Pragati Maidan of Delhi for the construction of an integrated exhibition – cum – convention centre.

Green activists had launched an online petition on change.org to stop the felling of 1713 trees,the petition has already been signed by 193  out of 200  signatures  required till Saturday.According to the Green activists the tree which are to be felled are mostly more than 60 years.

The Green activist who has started the online petition is  Radhika Bhagat and says it is plea to the Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change, Delhi chief minister, environment and forest minister, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the state level Environment Impact Assessment Authority and India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) to stop the felling of trees.

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“This petition is helping bring social recognition on the Pragati Maidan tree cutting issue. A significant number of people have signed it and we want to show the authorities that this matter is crucial to the public and needs attention,” says Radhika Bhagat

In the petition it is read that almost 15000 trees have been felled down in Delhi in the past 3 years ,While more than 6,000 were cut in 2014-15, around 4,600 and 4,700 trees were felled in 2015-16 and 2016-17. The petition on change.org says that tree felling will be done right in the heart of the city with several schools, hospitals and residential areas in the vicinity.

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These areas, along with the rest of Delhi-NCR, will suffer from the resulting pollution, that will only worsen. Over the last 3 years , Delhi has already lost 15,000 trees to development and we cannot afford to lose any more,Do you feel embarrassed and worried to be living in the most polluted city on our planet?… Are you concerned about your and your dear ones health due to Delhi’s consistently hazardous levels of air quality ?… Here is your chance to take action about this situation by protecting the lungs of Delhi, the trees,” the petition reads.

Apart from the online petition there are many other environmentalist who came in support on this issue,another  Delhi – based environmentalist has started a separate crowd funding campaign for  printing costs, lawyer’s and court fee to stall the “losing 1,713 healthy big trees in the heart of the city that will lead to severe health damage to lakhs of residents”.

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“They have not got any Environment Impact Assessment clearance but still got permission to cut these trees from the forest department. There is a tree authority, which is supposed to clear these kind of projects, under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994. On paper it is there but doesn’t meet or act.”said Aditya Prasad advocate who filed an RTI that revealed the plan to fell these trees.

   

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