DDA Concretising Grass and Soil in Delhi’s Parks and Forests.

Niti Aayog reports say that Delhi’s ground water table will be completely depleted by next year, Delhi Jal Board is working hard trying to get water back into the underground aquifers, and Delhi Development Authority is using their resources to concretise the last remaining soil surfaces in the city.

Recently, a group of people were visiting Sanjay Van where they noticed a healthy grassy patch of area being concretised. Upon investigating, it was found that the DDA plans to build an outdoor gym there. All the trees in the area were also being cemented in violation of the Honourable National Green Tribunal order dated 23rd April 2013.

When the staff there was informed about the violation of the law, they didn’t bother to take any corrective measure and continued to violate the court order purposely. The next day when the Times of India had done a big report on this matter, within a few hours, the cement was removed from the trees. This shows that the DDA is not afraid of the court order, but they are afraid of being exposed by the media. An important lesson for everybody to learn from.

They removed the cement from the trees however, they did not remove the rest of the cement from the grassy area. After speaking to DDA officials, it was learned that the DDA is using concrete on the grass and next they will add expensive synthetic rubber on the concrete. This is being done to protect citizens from falling on the grass, so they will be safer falling on the rubber and concrete. They also admitted that this gym equipment which will be installed later, causes people to fall, that’s why the rest of the grass in the parks and forests is not covered with concrete and safety rubber.

A delegation of concerned citizens met the Vice Chairman of DDA, Mr Tarun Kapoor, and presented empirical data which shows that a soil flooring outdoor gym is much better than one with concrete and safety rubber flooring. In fact, there are actually hundreds of outdoor gyms in Delhi, where the flooring is just soil, and that method is working perfectly, nobody has died or been injured on the mud. The VC agreed with the points put across and said he would look further into it.

The Delegation also met with Principal Commissioner of Horticulture, Mr Shripal, to put across the same points. When it was shown that cementing is being done up to 15 ft away from the nearest gym equipment, the response was that it looks better than grass, and that people who visit a park or a forest do not want their shoes to get dirty by touching the grass or soil.

Please see the data below and decide for yourself what is a better option.

When the newspapers published articles about this meeting with the VC, it was written that the officials believe only a small portion of parks and forests are being concretised. But what they don’t want you to know is that, when a small portion of grass is being concretised in hundreds of parks and forests around the entire city, then the total soil space for ground water recharge in the city is being reduced by many acres.

If you have ever seen a football field or a cricket field, you may have noticed that it is all soil and grass, no concrete flooring with safety rubber on top is seen anywhere. Do you think that your favourite cricketers and football players would like to play their sports on safety rubber, is it really safer than grass and mud? When you look at all the facts, then the bigger picture becomes more clearer. The DDA is not really interested in your safety, or recharging the ground water table, their main priority is to ensure maximum sales of safety rubber, wether you like it or not. Guess who is paying for this unnecessary decoration ? The taxpayers money is being used in a way that is further destroying the extremely damaged environmental conditions of the capital of India. Since the ground water table will be completely depleted by next year, according to a report by Niti Aayog, concretising the last soil spaces will prevent that much ground water recharge, depleting the ground water table even earlier. The best step would be to ensure the removal of the concrete floors at outdoor gyms and increase as much soil space in the city as possible.

Till now (6yrs later), none of the government departments have ensured that all 100% of the trees in there jurisdiction are in compliance with The Honourable National Green Tribunal order dated 23rd April 2013. If they would ensure that there is 1 meter open soil space around trees, there would be more ground water table recharge. It’s not like the requirement asks for 2 or 3 meters around trees, but just 1 meter, and that is so difficult for people to let go off, that they are willing to break the law for it.

The water crisis is a very real subject to be petrified about. Many cities in this country are already facing drought conditions. So by next year when the water finishes in Delhi,  are you going to wish that you had done something about it when there was still time to act or are you going to tell yourself that you at least tried to do something about it?

Please write to vcdda@dda.org.in, prncomnr@dda.org.in, imran.hussain@gov.in and CC to newdelhinaturesociety@gmail.com. Tell them to stop concretising soil spaces for outdoor gyms since they can work perfectly fine with a soil flooring.

Share this with all your like-minded friends so that we can protect our environment together. The leaders around the world have sold your future for profit. Many countries have now declared a climate emergency. But India has not declared a climate emergency yet.

India ranks 177 out of 180 countries in Environment Performance Index. CLICK HERE

22 of the worlds 30 most polluted cities are in India. CLICK HERE

1 thought on “DDA Concretising Grass and Soil in Delhi’s Parks and Forests.”

  1. Pingback: A Forest Is No Place For Wildlife, It Belongs To Barbwire. (Sanjay Van) | New Delhi Nature Society

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