Concrete City


City of Joy’s green cover has fallen short of the desired level

Sarnavo Das


Mankind cannot survive without other species. An ecosystem needs everything—human species, animals and trees. This simple truth seems to have failed to catch the attention of human beings, arguably the ‘most intelligent’ ones in our planet.

Kolkata, once the capital of India, now face a very sensitive problem that could endanger the lives of millions residing in Dominique Lappiere’s City of joy. According to a recent data, the green cover in Kolkata is a dismal 4.79%, whereas in Mumbai it is 18% and Delhi 19.09%.

The data shows that 9,000 trees were felled in the city in last one year! Realty boom in the city is gobbling up trees. Concretization of the city led by politicians and builders is killing our environment. The nexus is dangerous to ruin our very survival in future. Even a kid knows these circumstances, but these greedy people do not care.

If that not all, here are more: it has been seen that there was an 11 lakh kg rise in carbon count, which is a matter of great concern. A full grown tree emits 1700 kg oxygen per year. Moreover, such a tree absorbs 2250 kg of carbon dioxide per year.

There are indeed many adverse effects of cutting trees like soil erosion, abnormal water cycle, rise in temperature and loss of species. Buildings cannot give us oxygen, it is trees that can do so and protect our environment.

On paper, there is a rule which states that one have to plant 5 saplings if he demolishes a tree for infrastructural needs like flyovers, households and factories. But, they hardly comply with that. We have often seen that the Mamata led TMC government creates a hype of plantation drive, they do plant trees, but when it comes to maintenance they turn a blind eye.

Lack of maintenance ultimately destroys these saplings, so the incumbent TMC board of KMC , in tandem with state government must give plantation drive a priority. Syndicates should be controlled. The lawmakers should up the ante to protect and save trees, because here the stakes are supreme.

And, yes green crusader Subhash Dutta isn’t the only stakeholder of the city—we all—10 crore odd populace are the stakeholders.