Bhawan Gandi | Monday, Ocotober 17, 2011 – (THe Times of India, New Delhi)
Gurgaon: to widen the roads in the city, the civic bodies are removing the central verges from the major roads and replacing them with concrete medians. The verges used to be used for the plantation of trees and bushes.
Now the concrete medians are being laid so as to widen the roads and to ease the traffic flow. NGOs working for the cause of the environment in the city are opposing this initiative as they fell that the greenery is being sacrificed for the sake of development. Social activists are also upset with the widening of roads at the cost of greenery.
They claim that the civic bodies were in a way reducing the greenery in the entire city with this move of replacing the old verges with the concrete medians.
Talking to TOI, Vivek Kamnoj, founder of NGO Haryali which works for greenery in the city, said, “Gurgaon is the best example of ‘unplanned urban growth’ where development is at the cost of nature. The civic bodies are talking about reducing the greenery but no one is thinking about the plantation of trees.
A lot of efforts were made by different people for making the roundabouts greener by planting more and more trees but now all of them are removed and even the trees were sacrificed for easing the traffic at such places.” “The planning department never expected the city to have this much traffic and the city has seen a sudden growth. This is the reason why nature is always being sacrificed. On one hand, groundwater is being depleted as the city does not have sufficient water supply and on the other, the trees are being cut for the sake of development,” he said. Residents also fell that the greenery should be maintained in the city and a balance should be maintained between the infrastructural development and nature.
“As a citizen of this city, I feel bad when nature is sacrificed or natural resources are misused. Even if these verges are removed for the convenience of the commuters, the department should then maintain the green belts which are being encroached and used as garbage dumps.” Government officials, mean while, claim that the city roads are unable to bear the load of heavy traffic and that is the reason that such a step is being taken.