We would like to bring to your attention the tree felling from NH-8 Shankar Chowk to Sector 55-56, Gurgaon. Permission was taken from Forest Department to cut 1055 trees in April 2012. These have already been felled. And now permission is sought to cut another 1057 trees in the same area.
Nobody has bothered to check on the compensatory plantation that was required in lieu of felling of trees. As per rules, they should have planted 10550 plants and ensured the survival for next seven years, but nothing has been done and they are ready to cut 1057 more. The new request has been accorded permission by your own office. .
While we fully support the need for development, we do not understand the haste to abuse rules that have been framed to safeguard our common future in the form of environmental health.
In this case, it has come to our notice that the compensatory plantation is proposed to be done in green belts and parks by HUDA Horticulture Division. This is a joke. Green belts and parks are meant to be green. This plantation is OBLIGATORY and not COMPENSATORY. Plantation in designated green belts being passed as compensatory plantation is perverted logic and manipulation being perpetrated by Government officials against the interest of the Citizens and in obvious connivance with the builders. This falsehood is punishable by law. For compensatory plantation land has to be identified, planted and survival of planted saplings ensured. We, the people, are watching.
Secondly, it’s not clear why HUDA/DLF needs widening of road from 60 mts to 78 mts. First they failed miserably in their planning and now they are playing smart at the expense of environment and public health. The excuse of Rapid Metro falls flat when we see that the trees in the central verge have already been felled for that purpose.
Haryana has less than 7% of area under green cover. With these kinds of imprudent decisions, we will lose it further. This is as serious asn issue as female foeticide. Like skewed gender ratio, we will become world leaders in skewed environmental vision.
Are our forest officials drawing fat salaries at our expense, to give permissions for felling trees and NOC’s for desertification? They have totally lost sight of the reason for their existence, which is for preventing and not participating in deforestation. Forest Department seems to have become a shop for buying permissions to cut trees.
We need answers for every tree that has been felled. We need to know how many have been planted and where. We need to know the survival statistics. We also need immediate action to stop any further damage.
- Stop the new request for felling of 1057 trees
2. DLF / HUDA need to answer, where is the compensatory plantation done for 1055 tree cut in 2012. And please do not count trees in green belts and parks as compensatory.
There are trees identified as crop for farmers (Bakain, Ailanthus etc.) and are exempted from the list of protected trees by virtue of being crop trees. However In cities these are not crop trees.Hence all trees should come under protection and saved from felling.
Lastly, we would like to state that we are against any tree felling at all. The concept of compensatory plantation is flawed in itself. 10 plants in place of a full grown tree can never replace its benefits. It takes more than 20 years for it to reach the same stage, if at all it survives – and this is almost equal to a stage of life where a child becomes adult and an adult becomes old. However when need for genuine development leaves no other choice, any tree felling should be preceded by identification of land for compensatory plantation and funds to plant, protect and maintain the plantation for next seven years before the forest department entertains any request for tree felling.
There has been great emphasis on tree plantation by you, but we would like to add that along with plantation, equal/more emphasis should be given to protect existing trees. This should not remain mere words whose worth seems to be less than the worth of the paper on which these are written.
Hope you will understand our concern and take immediate action.
Thanks & Regards,