Delhi Govt helpline fails to stem capital’s tree-felling spree

New Picture (77)Govt helpline fails to stem capital’s tree-felling spree

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

New Delhi: The government may be trying to extend its green cover in the city but the existing greens seem to be in trouble. Residents claim that despite the setting up of a tree helpline, no action is generally taken on complaints made. At times, even the complaint number is not given.

Incidentally, the Delhi Tree Protection Act says that no trees can be cut or pruned without permission from the forest department of the Delhi government.

The idea behind tree helpline, which was set up by the Delhi government three years ago, was to involve citizens in protection of trees. However, residents claim that despite repeated complaints to the helpline to report ‘‘merciless’’ pruning of trees in the Rohini area, the forest department has not initiated any action.

Upset by the inaction of the department, Sanjiv Kumar, a resident of sector 9, Rohini, says he’s even shot off a letter to the environment secretary. ‘‘Over the past few weeks, trees in the Rohini area have been pruned and even cut without the requisite permission. Repeated complaints to the tree helpline have not rescued the trees from their fate,’’ says Kumar.

Kumar, in fact, says that ‘‘hacking’’ of trees indiscriminately has been happening for some time now, with no response from the forest department. ‘‘Not only written complaints but even pictures of the felled trees have been provided. But no action taken,’’ adds the resident. Residents in the area allege that the unconcern shown by the local authorities has resulted in several trees falling in the recent storms.

‘‘The roots are left exposed during all the road digging and other civic works that happen here. We’ve called the tree helpline to register complaints but nothing has been done about the trees. As a result, even as small storm makes these trees topple over,’’ added Parul Chhabbra, a resident. Adds Kumar, ‘‘We’ve obviously no complaints about pruning. But this is killing the greens, and the tree helpline should be more accessible to residents.’’

Government authorities claim that the helpline has been registering calls, with no complaints coming in about complaint number not being provided. However, they do admit that lack of adequate manpower means that not all calls are attended immediately.

‘‘Permission for pruning and cutting trees has to be taken from us. But it is not possible for us to attend to every complaint that we receive. We don’t even have the required manpower,’’ said a senior forest department official.
toireporter@timesgroup.com

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2 Responses

  1. HELP HELP HELP NEED HELP 2 SAVE TREES?

    Person is running grocery shop in plot no.296 pocket -2, Rohini, Delhi is destroying trees by setup fire & cutting them 2 trees are totally dead out of 17 in front of shop for his publicity of shop & his hooding. Trees needs help help SAVE THEM.

    DARSHAN CHAUHAN
    9540550337

  2. is there any way to prevent the cutting of tree in south extension, the clearance for the felling has been given and legal documents are complete. however the reason for the felling i.e. roots are breaking though the floor of the bathroom is entirely false.

    location of tree,
    P-97, second floor
    NDSE II
    New Delhi

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