Millennium Post

Bird’s eye view

Disregard for environmental concerns has again taken the driver’s seat and this time the UP’s forest department has allowed construction of a two lane concrete road from within the Okhla bird sanctuary in the name of de-congesting traffic flow from Noida to Delhi and vice versa. Delhi, which is 23 per cent short of green cover, has to deal with not only unreceptive government officials but also the extremely powerful real estate lobby, which if given a choice can flout norms and raise high rises in every given inch of space.

Okhla bird sanctuary, which every year attracts more than 300 rare bird species will be exterminated, much before people in Delhi would ever come to know about the existence of an ecologically sensitive zone that they need to protect. Mangar Bani, a rare forest grove on the Faridabad-Gurgaon highway and Delhi’s last natural catchment area has almost been sacrificed at the altar of the real estate mafia.

Asola bird sanctuary’s fate is no better as the construction stone mining scourge still operates illegally even after the Supreme Court in 2009 enforced a blanket ban on any mining whatsoever in the Aravalli mountains. Vehicular traffic has increased to an unprecedented level on Delhi roads and by making new roads, the government is not de-congesting the already existing ones but rather giving impetus to people to buy as many cars as they can. It is easier for the government to make new roads than to stop people from buying new cars because neither can the fauna and the extremely weak environmental pressure group can protest and nor can the toothless National Green Tribunal object. If this needs to stop, then Capital’s residents will have to find a measure.     
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