State told to comply with National Green Tribunal order on paving trees

State told to comply with National Green Tribunal order on paving trees
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Highlights

J Ratnam of Green Climate and Forum for Better Visakha founder president and former Union secretary told the reporters that after Hudhud cyclone of 2014, the GVMC has taken up massive tree plantation in the city but most of the species chosen by the corporation were not native and they are highly water intensive in a city that is water deficient. 

Visakhapatnam: Several environmental activists, including Padmavathi of Save Trees of New Delhi, have asked the AP government to comply with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order which asked the urban government not to pave the trees.

J Ratnam of Green Climate and Forum for Better Visakha founder president and former Union secretary told the reporters that after Hudhud cyclone of 2014, the GVMC has taken up massive tree plantation in the city but most of the species chosen by the corporation were not native and they are highly water intensive in a city that is water deficient.

Even where tree planting was done, cement paving was being done right up to their stems that prevented rain water to seep into their root systems, causing stunted growth.

This matter has come up before the National Green Tribunal and the Tribunal directed Andhra Pradesh government to file an affidavit on their earlier directives not to undertake cement paving around trees. There were guidelines issued on this earlier by Union Ministry of Urban Development.

GVMC is yet to implement the NGT order. While the government agencies are spending public funds for planting new saplings, it is equally ironic they are handing over the lush green hills around the city for real estate development, EAS Sarma said.

Vast tracts of forests are being denotified for building construction activity. Padmavathi of Save Trees, New Delhi explained how they were campaigning to save the trees in Delhi.

It was due to the efforts of her colleagues that the matter concerning the need to ban cement paving around threes had come up before the NGT.

Ratnam has taken steps to implead himself in this case. He expressed disappointment at the inaction on the part of GVMC to implement the NGT order. He also felt that native species which can survive and flourish in Visakhapatnam area need to be encouraged.

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