Why Noida is divided over the biodiversity park in Sector 91...
Noida has had mixed reactions to Noida Authority’s decision to fell 3,000 trees spread across 75 acres to make way for a bio-diversity park in Sector 91.
While some residents are protesting over the felling of trees, others say that cutting down of eucalyptus trees from the area — the predominant vegetation there — is indeed a good move, since this particular species absorbs a lot of water.
Balendu Singh, RWA president of Sector 92, says, “We welcome this decision of Noida Authority. The park will change the entire geography of the area — this place will get a new look and can be home to several new varieties of birds.”
He continues, “There’s no wildlife here, just some nilgais and rabbits. I don’t know who has seen deer in this area — it’s fake information spread by some people. Strangely, people living in the vicinity — Sectors 92,93B and other high-rises — are not protesting, but those who don’t live here are more bothered!”
Amit Gupta, a resident of Prateek Wisteria in Sector 77, adds, “It's quite clear eucalyptus is not good for groundwater and must be removed. But people wanted the whole thing to happen in a phased manner. Seventy percent of the trees have already been cut — they want some planting activities done before the rest are felled.”
“...A few of neem and babool trees have been cut and we are worried about it. One way out is to mark/number the trees that are not meant to be felled. They can raise an alarm if these trees are cut. Also, if possible, we should reduce concrete work there to keep the greenery intact,” explains Gupta.
There are some RWAs that have welcomed the decision, and have written as much to Noida Authority. City Spidey, in fact, has access to four such letters.
The letters to Noida Authority
On the other hand, some residents are opposed to the park — and the cutting down of trees. Their collective demand: “We want a forest and not park because there are a lot of parks, but there’s only one forest for the people of this city.”
Birdwatcher PR Chandna, a resident of Sector 62, opines, “The authority is wasting Rs 50 crore here! There are several parks made by Noida Authority, but they have failed to maintain them. There is D-Park in Sector 62, which is currently the second largest park in the city. It has a musical fountain and an amphitheatre, but both are not functional.”
Rajendra Kumar, Deputy Director of Horticulture, told City Spidey that the proposed park is not a whimsical decision, and it’s the people of the city who have demanded such a park.
“We are only felling eucalyptus trees. Had it been other trees, we wouldn’t have proposed felling,” he adds.
Noida Authority has decided to plant about 5,000 native varieties, and about one lakh shrubs and plants. Noida Authority also plans to plant 19,625 ornamental trees in the park. The authority has handed over the task to Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation.