Govt. Agencies In India
In India most of the people are unaware about the laws and regulations with respect to Environment and Animal Protection and this gives rise to non-compliance with laws and regulations by the general public and Govt. agencies. Even the general public turns a blind eye whenever they see such non-compliance by Govt. agencies because they don’t know whether the Govt. is complying with the law or not.
With my interests in subjects of Environment Law, I once interned with a Lawyer who also runs a NGO wherein they majorly work on filing Public Interest Litigation before the High Courts, NGT & Supreme Court for Environment and Animal Rights and from thereon I started to be more vigilant on daily violations of Environment and Animal Rights law.
During October 2019
During October 2019 when I used to take the metro from Kalkaji Mandir Metro Station I saw a very big Neem tree completely covered in concrete, there was not even a single centimetre of soil space around the tree. I just couldn’t watch such a big beautiful tree die in the near future. So I researched on where to complain about this case and whom to contact. After some researching I found a website i.e. Public Grievance Monitoring System (PGMS Delhi version) and basically on this website one can complain against any Govt. agencies of Delhi, in case you have a complaint on a subject matter where the Govt. Dept. is responsible to solve.
I made a complaint
I made a complaint to the Dept. of Forest, but to no avail, they never responded and kept my complaint under review for several weeks.
Then once again I researched for some better action, so I pulled out some email id’s of Forest Officers, but still to no avail, they too never responded and kept my complaint under review for weeks.
In the midweek in November 2019, I made a complaint to Delhi Metro Rail Corp. (Kalkaji Mandir Metro Station Branch) on the same PGMS portal, as a legal warning to them to remove the concrete as concretisation of trees is an offence under Section 8 Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994 and will also amount to violation of Hon’ble NGT orders.
1 week after my complaint to Delhi Metro Rail Corp. (Kalkaji Mandir Metro Station Branch) the case was under review and someone from Kalkaji Mandir Metro Station Branch contacted me and told me that my complaint is accepted and they will start removing the concrete around the said tree.
After another week I saw the first sight of progress and by the 1st week of December 2019 the concrete was completely removed.
I request the public at large to please be more vigilant about your surroundings and that whenever you make a complaint including and not limited to De-concretisation around trees, make sure you make a complaint to every Govt. Dept. whoever the concerned authorities are and all others who can be involved to help in the cause of action.
Just like the de-concretisation of the Neem tree at Kalkaji Mandir Metro Station, I have made complaints with respect to de-concretisation of trees at a few other locations as well and will follow up with these cases after lockdown.
About the Author
Lakshay Kewalramani is presently working as a Legal Associate in a Pvt. Ltd. Company.
He is an avid Animal and Environment lover & care taker.
He also tries to make conscious choices to lessen his carbon footprint.