Delhi’s Chipko Movement takes root; forces govt to rethink
Akhilesh Pandey
Akhilesh Pandey
Delhi’s Chipko Movement takes root; forces govt to rethink
Photo: Akhilesh Pandey
Delhi’s Chipko Movement takes root; forces govt to rethink

A statement issued by the Union urban and housing affairs ministry on Thursday allowed felling of nearly 16,000 trees in south Delhi area to support redevelopment of government housing. The news spread like wildfire, igniting an urban Chipko movement.  

The campaign was started by an NGO, Chetna.

President of Chetna, Anil Sood, had filed a petition on the subject with the National Green Tribunal. He shared with City Spidey, “We will undertake activities that will lead to the conservation of trees. Chipko movement and other similar activities illustrate the importance of trees in our lives.”

In Dwarka, Green Circle has already started Chipko activities in parks, while an NGO, Hello Mom Dwarka, would take up similar activities this Saturday to support the campaign.

“Chipko has become an emotional war cry — a call to save the trees. I participated in the campaign yesterday and felt wonderful after doing my bit,” said Romila Gandhi, a resident of Dwarka, who went to support the protests yesterday.

Raj Sharma, President of Vriksha Mitra, an NGO,  also joined in the movement.  

Commenting on the movement, Raje Kurup, president of Hello Mom Dwarka, said, “It is our moral responsibility to support the cause in Delhi. In Dwarka, NGOs, RWAs and individuals all are supporting the campaign at their own level to protect the trees of South Delhi.”

At Sarojini Nagar, the protest is being carried out by various social organisations and resident bodies. Hundreds of people from all age groups are staging protests in their own way to highlight the importance of trees.

In response to the public outpour, Delhi High Court has given a stay order on the cutting of trees, while the NGT hearing is scheduled for July 3.

Commenting on the decision, Sood said, “The order has come as a shot in the arm, and strengthened our faith in the judiciary — that’s our lone hope. The way the bureaucracy and the ministries are functioning, it feels like the common man is nowhere there on their agenda.”

Lashing out, he added, “They all are self-centered individuals and least bothered about environment. They don’t know the basic difference between green cover and tree cover. While green cover implies greenery that can be brought out through shrubs or any other species, tree cover is way more fundamental — it’s a complete ecosystem.”  

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