The capital city of India, New Delhi is in an uproar these days and it’s not the deadly heat wave this time. The Delhites are fuming over the decision to cut down 14,000 trees in south Delhi. The activists, as well as the common Delhi crowd, came together to protest the evil proposal. Chipko movement is back, this time, in the capital city.
Who proposed and sanctioned the decision to cut down the trees is still unclear. The Union government and Aam Aadmi Party (the ruling party) are still playing the blame game accusing each other of giving the final permission. But the people of Delhi couldn’t care less and they are fighting tooth and nail to save the trees.
The decision was made to wipe out the trees for the redevelopment of Central government houses and apartments. Can it be more unsustainable? Unfortunately yes, thousands of trees have already been fallen down in the name of development.
To keep things in control the government ensured that the same amount of saplings will be sown later. That didn’t sit well with the crowd because saplings would take years to grow into a tree and a tree cannot be replaced. To kill a tree is to destroy several ecosystems along with it.
Since Friday, protests are being held in various parts of Delhi. Many hugged the trees recreating the iconic Chipko Movement of the 1970s. People and environmentalists came dressed in green and tied ribbons to the trees and distributed free saplings to fellow protestors.
The Smog is in the Air
The capital city of India, Delhi is one of the most polluted cities not just in the country but on the planet. The yellow haze has ascended in the air. Intense smog caused by pollutants in the air has put the city in a state of ‘health emergency’ according to Indian Medical Association.
The decision to chop down some of the remaining trees is an absolute horror. Growing saplings after cutting trees will do no good. Most of the saplings die due to lack of maintenance and it takes years for trees to grow.
The pollution and water scarcity in Delhi is getting worse by the day. Delhi needs its vanishing greens.
“To be poor and be without trees, is to be the most starved human being in the world. To be poor and have trees, is to be completely rich in ways that money can never buy.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die