A month after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) told Gurgaon authorities to get rid of concrete around trees in the city within two months, government departments have not been able to implement the order.
Months after trying to convince authorities to take some steps, an NGO, Haryali, had filed a petition in February in the green court against concrete sidewalks that cover tree barks. According to environmentalists, some space should be left around the trees to allow air and water to the roots.
“Despite the orders, the contractors are still being paid to fill concrete around trees. After this, they will be paid to remove concrete. The government is mindlessly wasting public money over a futile exercise”, said JS Wali, an RTI activist.
Interestingly, concrete-covered trees are still seen close to several government offices as well. Other locations include roads in Sectors 31, 46 and 40, 56, Udyog Vihar and Civil Lines. However, interlocking tiles that covered tree barks on the sector 30- 31 road were recently removed to allow breathing space to their roots.
With just one month left for the NGT deadline, it is unlikely that the concrete around trees will be removed from all over the city.
“Till now only those areas have been taken up, the pictures of which were shown in court. When concrete is placed over the roots, the digging required to create the patio or concrete space damages critical root structures”, said Vivek Kamboj, founder of NGO Haryali.
While Haryana of ficials sought that the case to be closed, the NGT refused to pass a final order on April 12 till there was complete compliance of the court orders. Huda officials were unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts.