After witnessing dramatic episodes of public outrage over cutting thousands of trees for south Delhi government colony redevelopment plans proposed by the central government bodies, the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) and Central Public Works department (CPWD) have decided to redesign the plan and has assured that no more trees will be cut.

The Centre had proposed redevelopment plans of seven government colonies in South Delhi, under which thousands of trees were to be felled down. It was when the Forest Department approved the felling of 16,500 trees when green activists, environment volunteers and common people of Delhi took it to the streets and protested to save the trees from being destroyed. After facing public outrage with Chipko-like protests from green activists, the Centre announced on Thursday that no more trees would be cut for redevelopment of the seven government colonies in South Delhi.

Also, the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry assure that the two agencies responsible of redevelopment plans – National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) and Central Public Works department (CPWD) – will revisit the areas to be redeveloped and redesign the layouts of redevelopment plans in a way that can avoid the cutting down of trees. Furthermore, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri assured that no more “big trees” will be cut down for constructional and redevelopment purposes. However, Puri said that some small trees might require transplantation to some other location using professionally used tree re-location/transplantation equipment that will be done by trained professionals.

The Centre has also promised to plant as many as 10 lakh tree saplings in next three months in South Delhi – and Puri confirmed that the new trees which will be of 8-12 feet height. Of these 10 lakh trees, NBCC will plant 25,000 trees; the CPWD would plant 50,000; while the DDA will plant 10 lakh and DMRC will plant 20,000 in coming three months – keeping with the promise to stop the green cover Delhi and take appropriate steps in making Delhi a little less polluted – if not completely.

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