Hindustan Times (Delhi)
Residents draft ‘green manifesto’ for parties
NEW DELHI: Two groups of Delhi residents have come up with a ‘green manifesto’ for political parties to follow in the upcoming assembly elections, slated for February 8. The two citizens groups — Green Circle and New Delhi Nature Society — compiled a list of environment and infrastructure demands from political parties contesting the Delhi polls. Contributors ranged from citizens and resident groups.
The list of demands was divided into categories — including of air pollution, tree care, animal safety, environment education, noise pollution, waste management, water and road transportation, among others. In the ‘green manifesto’, the residents asked for a blanket ban on tree felling, target-oriented new plantation, and a ban on conversion of land listed as forest areas.
The list of contributors also includes well-known environmentalists, birders, and activists. Environment activist Padmavati Dwivedi, birder Mukul Azad, social activist Madhukar Varshney and TP Maniappan from the Federation of CGHS [Central
Government Health Scheme] were among the contributors.
V Selvarajan, founder, Green Circle, said the document has been drafted after taking suggestions from people across the city.
“Environment is the most important aspect, and with increasing pollution levels in the city, it is important that political parties take cognisance of these demands,” Selvarajan said.
Residents demanded that concessions be made for people using public transport, last-mile connectivity be improved, roads and footpaths be maintained on a regular basis, that all public parks be provided with sewage treatment plants, rain water harvesting at public establishments be made mandatory, proving green incentives on house taxes for the use of solar energy and cess in income tax slabs for car users.
The document also stressed the need to increase people’s participation by introducing schemes such as monetary incentives for people reporting environment crimes, formation of local environment task force teams to work in collaboration with municipalities and training of resident welfare associations on tree protection laws.