By Dr Udit Raj (MP- North West Delhi)
I write this at a time when the entire world is debating conservation of the environment, at Paris, whether development needs be compromised, OR, we aggressively pursue the agenda of protection of the environment, at the micro level. Is there a middle path?
I have adopted village Jaunti in my constituency of North-West Delhi for holistic development. During my innumerable visits to the village, I have noted that close to 500 trees, planted in earlier years, are now in the middle of the road, when the carriageways were widened. Of the 500, about 191 trees are dangerous for motorists.
Having noted it and having discussed with the villages, I have accorded the highest priority to this safety hazard. Agreed increased consciousness of conservation of trees holds valid, but, spare a thought for the 12 lives which have been lost over the preceding 12 months owing to motor vehicles crashing into these trees, which are in the middle of the road. With winter setting in, the fog makes it increasingly difficult to spot these trees. Innumerable letters written, and follow ups have been pursued with the PWD, Forest Department, DM Office and all such functionaries. But sadly, the apathy to this important cause is now hurting. Fog this morning, forced me to revisit the various correspondences I have had on this issue, the last being on the 9th of December’ 2015 to the Conservator of Forests of Delhi to ensure that these trees numbering 191 be immediately removed from the carriageway of the road to avoid any mis-happening, during the next couple of months of winter. Being a rural area with ample greenery around, the fog is most dense near village Jaunti.
I am mindful of not senselessly uprooting trees. Hence I motivated the youth of village Jaunti for a tree plantation drive. I happily report that my youngsters from Jaunti planted more than 1000 trees during the Monsoon of 2015, and our long-term aim is to establish Jaunti as a green village, in the true sense of the world.
That being the argument, some trees have to be the casualty, for the development, and to ensure safety and security of the motorists. But for every tree that may have to be Trans-planted or removed from the alignment of roads, I along with the youth of my village, intend to pledge plantation of 10 times more trees.
I initiate this debate only to draw public attention towards to most relevant issues today – development vs. environment.