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EDITORIAL

DEVELOPMENT AT HIGH COST

Development of infrastructure and other facilities is very important for us, but certainly not acceptable to us if the cost of development is causing irreparable damage to our already fragile environment. The decision to fell over 16000 trees in Delhi for the redevelopment of colonies cannot be justified at all. Delhi is already choked. The quality of air has nosedived over the years. The city state has become a gas chamber. Pollution related diseases are emerging as a serious threat to humans. If Delhi has to remain livable for more time to come, we need to plant more and more trees. Unfortunately the leadership of Delhi in recent times has not really tried to strengthen the environmental dynamics of the city state. The words and warnings of ecologists and environmentalists are rarely given a serious thought by the powers that be. Most of the trees in Delhi cannot tolerate transplantation. The success rate is extremely low. Delhi is paying a heavy price for not pursuing a holistic agenda for development, which takes care of people’s two basic needs — quality air and pure water. All said and done Delhi is deprived of what should have been the hallmark of the city state — extensive greenery. The plantation of trees should be carried out on a large scale. The process of concretising Delhi must come to an end. Some of the metropolitan cities across the world are taking environmental concerns and challenges very seriously. That spirit is still missing in Delhi. From the policy makers to the people, everybody wants to exploit Delhi to his advantage but hardly gives anything in return to this mega city’s sustainable development. Even the central government, which has a lot at stake in Delhi, should be seen taking interest in addressing the city’s multiple woes. The issue of waste management remains as serious today as it was decades ago. Lifting of the garbage has not yet been streamlined, despite several experiments in the processes of civic administration and management. If we all are well-wishers of Delhi then we must think afresh and contribute to changing the developmental narrative of the national capital and the adjoining areas.

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