Could Tree Transplantation Policy Save Delhi?

India Oct 20, 2020

On 9th October 2020, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announced the passage of the Tree Transplantation Policy. This policy, which aims to prevent the felling of trees for development projects in the city, was touted as the ‘first of its kind’.

What is this policy all about?

The Delhi Government’s Tree Transplantation Policy has been passed to prevent the felling of trees to make way for development projects in the city, and instead scientifically transplant the trees to a different location. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal declared that agencies carrying out developmental and construction projects would have to transplant the trees, they fell, elsewhere instead of uprooting them. He also stated that the Delhi government would offer to make the payment for the transplantation process if 80% of the trees survive. In case the agencies fail to do that, the payment would be deducted.

Who will monitor the execution?

The Delhi Government also announced that it will set up a panel of national-level agencies who would be consulted by the agencies for the provision of services related to the tree relocation process. The Delhi Government will also set up its own cell for the same function. Besides this, the CM has also stated that committees may be constituted at the local level, comprising of residents, for the monitoring, checking, and certification of the transplantation process.

Besides this policy, the Delhi Government has also given its nod for the construction of a smog tower in Connaught Place, while the Central government has also mandated the construction of a smog tower in Delhi’s pollution hot-spot, Anand Vihar. “The smog tower in Connaught Place is only on a pilot project basis, and if successful, more such structures would be built in different parts of Delhi”, said Mr. Kejriwal. These steps are being taken to reduce air pollution in Delhi, as the peak pollution season slowly draws nearer.

Although such a project is one of its first kind, it has drawn condemnation from environmentalists and activists. They believe that the transplantation of trees would lead to hotter micro-climates, the absence of local birds, and local dust pollution. Besides this, they also highlighted the dearth of ecologically viable spots to transplant the native trees. They have also accused the Delhi Government of not taking concrete steps against the pollution that is a grave threat to the health and safety of the inhabitants of the city.

This article has been written by Ishaan Singh for The Paradigm

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