‘Proposal could not have seen light of day without forest dept nod’
New Delhi: The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC), on Friday, alleged that both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre and the Delhi government had given clearance to chop off 16,500 trees for the proposed redevelopment project in South Delhi.
The state Congress chief spokesperson, Sharmistha Mukherjee, who also heads the party’s local women’s wing, said that such a proposal could not have seen the light of day without getting clearance from the forest department of the Delhi government and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).
Ms Mukherjee said that both the AAP government and the BJP-led Centre have been indulging in a blame game for the past three-and-a-half years in a bid to divert the public attention from the pressing problems concerning the common man.
She said that if the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government wants to get anything done, it follows the proper rules.
“For instance, the AAP government got a VAT Act passed and approved the same within 11 days just to increase the tax on petrol from 20 per cent to 30 per cent. However, when it comes to the Jan Lokpal Bill, they are not following the rules as they want to play the victim card and blame the Centre,” she said.
Ms Mukherjee alleged that thousands of trees have been cut and no accountability is being tacked on those responsible for the anti-environmental act.
The Congress leader said that the Union urban development minister Hardeep Puri is now saying that he will redesign the project.
“But in the first place, why was such a project ever given the green signal? We need to fix accountability for such a negligent act. This is nothing but political and bureaucratic apathy,” said Ms Mukherjee.
She said that her party has identified 1,000 eminent citizens, who would be presented with saplings along with messages to save trees in the national capital.
Delhi Professional Congress convenor Yasmin Kidwai said that different wings of the party will join hands in a protest on July 2 against the mindless felling of trees. She said there are 8,500 trees per person in Canada and 4,500 trees per person in Russia. However, in Delhi there are just four trees per person.
Ms Kidwai said that her group will soon come out with a white paper to show how Congress policies were environment friendly and how the Kejriwal government was leaving no stone unturned to destroy the eco-system.