Published On : Mon, Jun 18th, 2018

Ringing alarm: Trees in city dying of choking environment, development

Nagpur: With haphazardly growing vehicular traffic, pollution and development activities mounting, the Second Capital City of Nagpur needs more and more greenery to maintain the ideal balance but it seems development and environment just can’t get along with each other. Construction of a network of cement roads across the city has turned out to be a dreadful factor for city’s environment. As reports indicate, most of trees could be dying of choking, growth of others being stunted, all in the name of development.

With Garden Department of NMC denying information regarding how many trees went ‘dead’ and how many trees were planted in the city across the years, it’s seems the green cover of the city is in dangerous hands.

With city’s ground water level hitting lower and lower, rainwater is the only source for survival of trees. But with the cement roads coming up across the city, the rainwater is being drained out to nallahs and rivulets leaving the soil in the lurch. The perched land is leading to burning of tree roots which further leads into choking.

“To minimize city pollution level, we need to plant trees more sensible way. There should be a pit, open space of radius 0.5m around trees to save rainwater. We need types of trees that could offer more oxygen to the neighbourhood,” said Kaustabh Chatterjee, Founder, Green Vigil Foundation, Nagpur.

While discussing how Maharashtra Urban Areas Protecting and Preservation of Trees Act, 1975 (modified in 2016) has made cutting down of trees real easy, Chatterjee, said, “Earlier one has to consult with Tree Committee, for chopping down any trees but with an amendment in 2016 which says that you don’t need any permission from Tree Committee unless you want to axe less than 25 trees. So now, if one could please garden department , then you could get your job done.”

There is a no provision of mandatory punishment or fine for cutting down a tree, which is a reason that these acts are still continued by people. Till date not a single person has been fined by authorities for chopping a tree, Chatterjee lamented.