July 5th, 2018

We the people! We won!

I was away from Delhi for a week, and though I kept in regular touch with friends here about the threat to our trees, it still came as THE most amazing relief when I received this message from jhatkaa.org, one of the organisations that has been galvanising public opinion about the shocking decision to fell 16,500 trees in south Delhi.

Hot on the heels of this piece of good news came the Delhi High Court ruling yesterday, staying the cutting of any more trees!

AMAZING!! 

I honestly, deep down, never thought that our protests and signature campaigns would actually have an effect.

I feared that the felling of thousands of trees in one of the world’s most polluted cities was a done deal.

I didn’t think people power would work.

But it did!

And what a fabulous feeling it is!

I am so relieved, and so, so proud of all the people I know who went out there & protested, as well as the hundreds of people I do not know who stood and sat in the brutal weather, to ensure our trees do not get cut.

Especially proud of all my lovely running friends, including one of our tribe, Harry (2nd from the right in the photo, below), who made loads of banners for everyone:

The Delhi High Court judgement yesterday was pretty amazing, and I quote:

“What do you mean by redevelopment. This is your scheme. Replacing a two-storeyed building with an eight-floor building, this is what you call redevelopment,” the bench said.

Love the end of the next comment:

“From where do you get water for such eight-floor buildings? What amount of garbage will be generated? Where is parking and what about air pollution? You don’t apply you mind to planning,” the bench said.

And, my favourite comment, below, which hits the nail right on the head:

This obsession with living in south Delhi, seen as almost a right by so many bureaucrats, is a nonsense.

Truth be told, I think giving ’em accommodation is a total, outdated, expensive nonsense.

Why should civil servants get accommodation in the heart of the city?  If their wages are so low that they need to be housed, increase their salaries and let them find their own housing.

The idea that bureaucrats have to live in south Delhi is ridiculous.  And we all came perilously close to paying with our health for this nonsense.

Never forget that 3000 trees have already been felled.

We must not lose sight of that.

But if we the people have managed to stop thousands more trees being cut – well, we have done well.

I am proud to have played a small part in this campaign and if problems arise in the future, I will be back in the fray.

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