Hindustan Times (Delhi)

Residents draft ‘green manifesto’ for parties

- Soumya Pillai soumya.pillai@htlive.com

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.

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