Save trees: Kids ‘draw’ PM’s attention
New Delhi: Schoolchildren have sent 300 postcards to the Prime Minister urging him to stop felling of 1,713 trees at Pragati Maidan for a redevelopment project.
A citizen group of environmentalists, tree lovers and activists, which is behind the drive, is also planning to launch an online petition as well as move court against the decision to cut these trees for the redevelopment of the ITPO complex at Pragati Maidan. They have suggested alternative measures to incorporate the trees into the project architecture itself to prevent them from being cut.
The postcards, with messages like ‘Please don’t cut trees in Pragati Maidan’ and ‘Save trees, Save Delhi’, were sent to the Prime Minister’s BUDDING ENVIRONMENTALISTS: residence on Sunday.
The drive was launched after the group came to know through an RTI application that the forest department has already granted permission for felling these trees. However, the project is yet to get an environmental impact assessment (EIA) clearance.
“These are large, adult trees estimated to be around 50-60 years old and replacing them with small saplings does not make any sense, especially as Delhi is reeling under air pollution that is at hazardous levels on a regular basis,” said Preeti Bharadwaj, social worker and environ- mentalist who is spearheading the postcard campaign.
“A revised plan with the trees integrated in the design will be a model for our country to showcase. Delhi has lost over 15,000 trees in the last three years, so we need to put a complete stop to any more tree felling,” said Verhaen Khanna, a tree lover and activist.
According to the EIA report accessed by the group, the PM2.5 levels in the area vary from a minimum of 42 micrograms per cubic metre to a maximum of 126. Activists argue that cutting down trees in the area will only make the air quality worse. “The prescribed limit of Central Pollution Control Board is 60 micrograms per cubic metre. If these trees are cut, the levels will only get worse,” said Aditya N Prasad, an environmentalist.
The schoolchildren’s postcards with the messages were sent to the Prime Minister’s residence