Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Here comes the PR!

Dear all,

The PR of the Transport Department has swung into action as is evident from the news item below and the paid advertisement in the Hindustan Times. However this is totally inadequate even as today some trees were chopped off, with no attempt to save any. Even as we watch trees are going, but since everything is numbered, which is to be saved?! The Conservator of Forests clearly told me that he has no plan for saving any tree or that any plan has ever been discussed with him. The PR says that permisison was obtianed under the tree act - as if it is God. Can permission be ever denied?!!

So will it be fait accompli soon? What else can it be?

I know some people did a great event on Sunday and there is a sign on statement to be sent out soon. But this surely is not enough. Is this all we can do? We really need to step out and show that we care for the trees. I look for the volunteers of the 'action' team for this. What is our plan friends? Is this the limit to our trying. Also some of us were to contact the RWAs!

We need to do something now! Or watch them go while we think and talk.



Bus Corridor makes a green turn
The Transport Department has reviewed the project to save trees

Date: 12/03/2007
Source: Hindustan Times

Moved by criticism that the construction of the first High Capacity Bus System (HCBS) corridor in the Capital will entail felling of about 4,000 trees, the state Transport Department has reviewed the project to ensure that less than 1,500 tree will have to be cut.

As many as 3,928 trees were earlier proposed to be cut over the entire length of the 14.5 km long corridor from Ambedkar Nagar in south Delhi to Delhi Gate near the Walled City Following the review, however, the figure has been brought down to 1,376, with 806 trees planned to be replanted, according to department sources.

During the construction of the corridor, more than 60 trees were saved by making suitable adjustments. More trees could be saved in the future in this manner, officials said. They added that additional trees would also be planted on the corridor once it was complete. Besides, a compensatory afforestation will also be taken up in which 17,790 trees-more than 10 times the trees proposed to be cut down-will be planted.

The permission for felling trees and replantation had been obtained under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act 1994, the sources said. Land for afforestation had been identified and transferred to the Forest Department, which had also been given the necessary funds for compensatory afforestation, they added. The need for cutting down trees arose to provide for an exclusive bus lane, proper bus stops, a cycle track and a pedestrian path within the existing right of way in the corridor.

In November 2005, the Supreme Court had directed the Delhi government to implement the HCBS within a fixed time frame. The Environmental Pollution Control Authority was asked to monitor the implementation of the project. The need for HCBS, among other modern modes of public transport, arose because the public-transport system in the national capital was found to be inadequate, leading to phenomenal growth of private vehicles.

And with an increasing number of people using personalised modes of transport, pollution, fuel wastage and accidents are increasing. 3,928 trees originally projected to be felled 1, 3 7 6 trees proposed to be cut after the review 806 trees to be replanted 17,790 trees to be planted as compensatory afforestation.

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