The residents of Dwarka have started a campaign to save the trees from felling for the Dwarka Expressway project. A group of nature lovers belonging to various sectors in the area started the campaign.
They are actively campaigning against it by activism on the social media, organizing activities and demonstrating in the area. The group of residents is also following up the matter with the concerned authorities.
Ex-president of RWA of Sector 8, Purushottam Bhel has been instrumental in organizing the campaign. He informed that the project is of NHAI (National Highway Authority of India ) and the campaign started after it sought permission for cutting of 13,000 trees from Sector 21, Dwarka Underpass till Shiv Moorty at NH8.
Bhel said, “This is very sad to bring it to the notice of all Dwarka residents and office bearers of RWAs that NHAI is going to cut around 20,000 trees from Shiv Moorty NH8 to Sector 21 underpass, for the proposed project of Dwarka Expressway in Delhi. Permission has been sought for only 13,000 trees but there are chances of felling of more than 20,000 trees. NHAI is required to redesign this project by saving these trees.”
According to Bhel, who has found data through his RTIs and other sources, while the reason for felling of first two sets of trees have been transplantation and dead state, there was no reason given for felling of rest of the 2294. “The dry and dead trees along with these 2294 trees have been explained as ‘affected.’ Affected with what? This is nothing but a game to cut those trees together,” said Bhel.
Bhel who has sent mails and letters to various departments including Chief Minister of Delhi and Forest Department saying that the cutting of trees must be stopped and no permission be granted to the NHAI.
On the subject of the gap between the numbers of the trees in the stretch, Bhel mentioned in the correspondence to the authorities that the stretch must be taken for recounting of trees. “During my follow-ups, they have accepted to do recounting and it has started from last week. We will try our best to save the trees as this is very important for environment.”
On the subject, many activists and environment lovers of the area have joined their hands together to fight for the cause. They have also started connecting the social and environment activists from other parts of the National Capital Region (NCR).
People who have been fighting to save environment across Delhi NCR are joining this campaign. Environment activist from Sector 3, Vineeta Agarwal, who has also been with the save tree campaign said, “We want to make it a movement so that not a single tree would be cut .We will not accept any such development at the cost of environment. Trees must be saved.”
Prerna Prasad, a resident from Kaushambi who has been instrumental in several save tree campaigns in Delhi NCR has also joined the campaign to save the trees from cutting in Dwarka Expressway project. She said that trees would be saved at any cost.