Concretisation of trees is against the environmental norms but it is taking place rampantly across Dwarka besides other cities of Delhi-NCR. Hundreds of well-grown trees, which can be spotted along the roadsides and residential societies, are dying a slow death due to such illicit practice.
Residents of various sectors across the sub-city have complained of negligence on the part of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and civic bodies. They further said that concretisation has been done during the repairing of roads by the departments concerned.
“Such practice weakens the roots of the trees and stops its growth. Besides, it is a violation of Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994,” people of the area pointed out.
According to the framed guidelines, around six feet circumference of the trees should be kept concrete-free. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the Delhi High Court had directed the department concerned and the general public to follow the set norms but they are being flouted without any fear of law.
Talking on this subject, environmental activist and resident of Youngsters Apartment Suman Malik said, “It is a matter of great concern that despite being aware of the norms, neither the DDA nor the corporation is serious about it.
One can gauge the state of such trees by visiting areas in Sector 6, 10 and while passing through police post towards Dwarka Mor.
“More than 50 trees have been concretised by the DDA while carrying out road repair works. The surface of the trees was cemented with bitumen and stones four years back. As a result, most of them have died,” residents alleged.
Locals of the sub-city demand strict action against the violators.
Sharing her views on this subject, resident of Sector 12 Shalini Gupta said, “People of the area can play a significant role in spreading the awareness about Trees Act. At least, the RWAs and the social workers can intervene in the matter whenever required.”
According to sources, the Delhi High Court, in its order, has asked for an undertaking in writing from all the civic agencies concerned, assuring that the specified space around trees is concrete-free.
Earlier, the NGT too had issued notices to 14 authorities, directing them to remove all boards, nails, and advertisements from the trees and to de-concretise them. Similarly, the Delhi High Court in the year 2007 and 2010 had also issued a similar notice to follow the urban green guidelines but all attempts made went in vain!
Environmental activist and general secretary of Studio Apartments, Ramesh Mumukshu stressed saying, “According to urban greening guidelines 2014, during the execution of civic work, tree roots should be protected and topsoil should be preserved. Sadly, norms are being violated which results in weakening of trees and its death.”
On the subject, deputy director of horticulture department (DDA) Jamil Ahmad said that he would take the matter into concern and the trees would be freed from concrete soon.”