The negligence towards the welfare of trees is a burning topic in present times. We have seen a public movement to save cutting of more than 16,000 trees in the national capital recently. Now, it has been found that hundreds of full-grown trees are dying because of the ignorance of authorities in Dwarka.
The trees have been dying because of concretisation in the roots. Such trees can be seen along the roadside and inside the DDA pockets. Authorities like DDA and Municipal Corporation do not seem to be serious on the issue.
People said that the roots of the trees had been concretised during the repair works of the roads by the concerned departments. Such concretisation at the roots is not only creating a problem in growth and life of the trees but also violating the Delhi Tree Act.
According to the guidelines, trees having around six feet circumference should be kept free from concretisation. National Green Tribunal and also the Delhi High Court have directed to follow such guidelines but they are being breached repetitively.
An environment activist and resident of Youngster Apartments in Sector-6, Suman Malik said, “This is sad that the authorities like corporation or DDA are not serious about the laws which protect the trees. If you close the roots of the trees with concrete then it would die after some time because its root would be weaker and it would not get proper water or air.”
Similarly, a resident of Sector-4, Shruti Sharma said, “I am shocked to see that many trees in front of Sector-4 market are suffering from concrete and bitumen at their roots. The roots of the trees should be properly opened but the civic bodies are violating it. Not only roads but societies are also facing this problem.”
Many such trees can be seen in front of schools and societies in Sector-6 and Sector-10. One would be shocked to see the condition of trees located on the service lane while passing through Sector-3 Police Chowki towards Dwarka Mor.
More than 50 trees have been concretised during the repair work of the service lane done by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). Residents allege that the surface of the trees has been completely closed by bitumen and stones about four years back and now some of the trees have become dead.
On the other hand, the community people have also concretised the footpaths for parking purposes and closed the roots of the trees. As a whole, the sub-city has been in the sad state as far as the trees are concerned.
Environment activists of the sub-city are saying that concretisation made the soil compact and it restricts the growth of roots which causes root mortality. They advocate strong actions against the violators of the rules.
Treasurer of Lovely Home Apartments in Sector-5, Vishal Gupta said, “Community can play a significant role in protecting the trees and spreading awareness of Tree Act. At least, the RWAs and the social workers can intervene in the subject when they notice such violation during repairing of the roads.”
According to sources, the Delhi High Court had ordered for an undertaking in writing from all the civic agencies that space around trees should be concrete-free. Earlier, the NGT too issued notices to 14 authorities directing them to remove all boards, nails and advertisements from the trees and to de-concretise them.
The Delhi High Court in 2007 and 2010 had also issued similar notices to follow the urban greening guidelines. But, the present condition of the trees is showing that there is no seriousness from the civic bodies.
“According to the urban greening guidelines 2014, roots of trees should be protected and topsoil should be preserved during the civic work. Still, norms are being violated and this is resulting in weaker trees,” said Ramesh Mumukshu, an RTI activist.
Tree becomes dead due to concretisation
Trees closed at roots in Sector-3
Tree in the service lane in front of Sector-4 market
Trees in front of Sector-4 market