Daily Archives: May 29, 2013
Concretisation of Trees space, leads to death of Our Friends (trees) and Our (We, My Children & Grand Children) Future.
what is Concretisation ?
The concretisation of trees in city has been an ongoing process, not necessarily as a result of any planned strategy to damage, fell or reduce the number of trees in city, but large as a callousness and ignorance of city people towards the needs and rights of our tree friends.
Concretisation is a fiscal drive. It is a fact that each bit of soil is being covered in different parts of the the city, be it in the residential colonies, on the main avenues or even in institutional areas and campuses etc.
Why is it happening ? (More area under concrete implies more money)
One probable reason for this high rate and pace of concretisation activity is that each square feet of concretisation entails a particular charge/ rate by the civic agencies involved. Thus, with more concretisation, more money can be made by the contractor and even the agencies involved in the concretisation process. Then, there is the added pressure from the corruption that is plaguing our society today, which is also known to be manifested in this form. More area under concrete implies more money.
The Myth, Loose soil in city is understood as an unnecessary cause of dust in people’s house. Nothing however can be far from the truth. The dust in City’s air is largely a result of the desertification of city, which is again a result of the cutting and felling of large number of trees. Unaware of this fact, city people think or equate soil with dirt and germs and for them loose soil is also a big waste since it makes for very bad parking space.
Where is it needed the most ?
It needs to be noted that in reality, choosing the concrete way is usually very expensive and used only at places where there is heavy vehicles movement, e.g. roads and highways. At the same time, leaving areas without concrete often requires it to be maintained with greens and trees, for which no one seems to have the consideration or the patience.
Delhi People shows the way to De-Concretisation at G.K – I (south delhi)
As Delhi develops into the world class city that ‘many’ are working hard to make it, concretization is the key word. And the concerete does not seem to be seeing an electric pole apart from a tree. And even as much is being said to protect and increase the green cover in the city, the existing greens seem to be choking to death. Most trees are being surrounded by concrete to such an extent that it leaves no breathing space for the tree thus reducing their capacity to keep themself upright.
The de-concretization did see some opposition from some residents, especially those who had gotten it done themselves, but the enthusiasm for conserving nature and perserving natural heritage and the court order ensured that the work has been continuing and over 60 trees have been freed till date. What is now needed is a citywide initiative to take this campaign to every colony and complex in Delhi.
The above was enough for Padmavati Dwivedi and her friends in her GK-I colony to persuade the Government, MCD and related authorities to follow the rules, uphold the law and remove the concrete cement from around all trees in their part of the colony.
Several species of beautiful birds have been forced into leaving the Garhi Mandu city forest area due to rise in pollution and loss of habitat. The forest area is spread over 894 acres in northeast Delhi.
Locals and civic workers are dumping debris and plastic waste in a huge natural wetland, which borders as much as 60 per cent of the south and eastern boundaries of this protected forest. Regular burning of garbage is causing severe air and water pollution.
On the filled up land, vegetable cultivation has also started. Water from the wetland is being regularly pumped out for cleaning vehicles and cultivation. Regular fishing is also disturbing the habitat and food chain of thes birds by causing the wetland to dry up. Open thoroughfare and playgrounds around the wetlands have also disturbed nesting.
“Resident waterbirds scared away so far include oriental darter, spot-bill duck, great and little cormorant, cinnamon bittern, white-throated kingfisher, purple swamphen, Indian moorhen,” said ecologist TK Roy. Birds, whose nesting has been disturbed, include green bee-eater, bank mynah, dabchik, and blackwinged still.
“The wetland attracts several species but despite repeated requests from environmentalists, the government is yet to notify the wetland. That’s why it’s unprotected and officially not part of the city forest,” he said.
“While so much money is being spent to save wetlands, a natural one along this city forest has been left neglected. Once the wetland is notified by the government for its protection, Garhi Mandu City Forest will be combined forest land of terrestrial and wetland habitats,” he said. The city forest is rich in biodiversity. The first-ever bird count at Garhi Mandu, conducted on February 24 this year, found 90 species, including 26 migratory and several threatened birds. “We found 33 species of waterbirds, including 13 migratory ones. Of the 57 species of terrestrial birds, 13 were migratory,” said Roy, who conducted the count.
The city forest shares its eastern boundary with colonies such as Shastri Park, Jagjit Nagar and Usmanpur along the Pushta Road which branches off National Highway 24. On the other side, it borders the left bank of the Yamuna.
Ravi Kalra is happy to be dubbed as the No-Honking Man of India. This Delhiite, along with 100-odd volunteers, has been carrying out a ‘Do Not Honk’ campaign for the past five years to educate drivers not to honk unnecessarily and help control noise pollution.
“It is such a social menace and still people don’t understand. At traffic signals, motorists honk unnecessarily. Motorcyclists are the worst. Many countries have banned honking and India should do it too,” Kalra said.
The 44-year-old activist started his fight against honking way back in 2008.
“I was driving with my daughter, and people were honking all around at an intersection. She asked me ‘Papa! Do something!’ That was the prod I needed,” Kalra said.
He started an NGO, The Earth Saviors Foundation, and with the help of 100 volunteers carried out a drive at the Gurgaon tollgate by wiping out ‘Horn Please’ signs from the back of over one lakh commercial vehicles, he claims.
“We removed these blow-horn signs without their knowledge as these encourage honking. We are now going to schools to sensitise children against honking,” said Kalra, who has been conferred with the prestigious Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel award for selfless humanitarian service.
Volunteers of The Earth Savers Foundation go out and stick “Do Not Honk” stickers on vehicles all over the Capital.
“Our main motive is to curb noise pollution, 70% of which is because of honking. Supreme Court rulings are there but still the situation is not improving much,” Kalra added.