Green Life: Time to Take Matters Into Our Own Hands?by Opinion Express June 30, 2018 0 comments
Although the protests held by citizens are falling on receptive ears, a long term solution is needed to survival.
They say it is never too late to learn from mistakes. So the Centre has rightly decided to stop felling trees for the redevelopment of seven Government colonies in Delhi that included a residential complex for bureaucrats. The Government has also asked NBCC, the executor of the project, to rework plans and designs and plant more than one million trees, mind you not saplings, in different parts of the city as damages and insurance. These will be flowering and fruit trees that can take advantage of the monsoon and local soil conditions and bloom in full glory. It is regrettable that the alarm bells rang much after the crisis had set in and the authorities had rather autocratically taken a self-serving decision, citing the need to accommodate the conveniences of babudom within clinging distance of Delhi for operational efficiency. In a digital society, officials could very well have their habitats in sustainable complexes across the growing expanse of the NCR without compromising on their functional efficiency that would anyway require their presence in Central Delhi offices. While the decision is a triumph of civil society, which launched a citywide “chipko” movement to save the little clusters of urban forests, what is worrisome is that increasingly citizens have to take to the streets and create newsworthy optics to get heard. Why are our honourable bureaucrats not taking the conscionable decisions that they are expected to?
Thinking from their perspective, if they have the onus to keep to the commitment of the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions and keep rising temperatures in check, they ought to be farsighted in implementing policies that help us meet the target than fail disastrously. It seems that taking care of future generations and entrusting them with a legacy they can be proud of has been solely laid on the shoulders of the citizenry rather than elected representatives. If only we had more bureaucrats like the District Collector of Raipur, Omprakash Choudhary, who demolished 70-odd Government buildings to make way for an urban forest in the heart of Chhattisgarh’s State capital. He set aside about 18 acres for a proposed commercial project, where the land value was estimated to be Rs 1,000 crores, to create an oxy-zone. He doesn’t want Raipur to live with the tag of being the seventh most polluted city in the world and has started working towards it. This reversal of fortunes was incidentally attempted way before the World Bank’s report on global warming predicting that Central India would turn barren by 2050 if correctives weren’t put in place on a war footing. That is the bigger story for all of us. We are awakened alright but have to take actions that outlast our timelines.
Courtesy: The Pioneer