Delhi's dying trees

Last Updated: Tue, May 21, 2013 08:51 hrs

New Delhi: Be it the Caribbean trumpet with its lovely yellow blooms, the towering scented Eucalyptuses or even the prolific Neems and Jamuns, Delhi is currently staring at dwindling numbers of trees owning to serious space crunch.

Delhi has transformed from being the green capital to being a concrete jungle in less than a decade, according to activists and environmentalists who have pointed out that trees in the city have been chopped down for construction of roads, flyovers, the Metro, the Commonwealth Games, and for new constructions.

Those remaining have been imprisoned in concrete pavements, or their branches chopped off so brutally that they are now stark looking and stump like, they say.

"The forest department is working keenly to ensure security for the trees in the city, ensuring that all nails, boards, hooks, rods, advertisements etc pinned on the trees are removed," says A K Shukla, Chief Conservator of Forest and Chief Wildlife Warden at the Forest Department.

According to Shukla, the department is seriously concerned about the directive from National Green Tribunal, which had issued a notice to 14 authorities directing them to remove all boards, nails and advertisements from trees falling under their jurisdictions as well as directing the authorities to de-concretise trees.

Delhi's green cover (which includes shrubs and trees outside forests) has doubled in a decadefrom 151 sq km in 2001 to 296.2 sq km in 2011, according to the State of Forest Report 2011, by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests,

However, Shukla says, "Many trees in the NCR region were cut down for the development of Delhi which included the esteemed Delhi metro project, construction of flyovers etc.

"Pruning was another issue for the destruction of trees. Strangulation by metal tree guards also affected the growth of trees." MORE

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