Corporator, responsible residents must play a role
We asked: Against norms constructions in residential areas causing decline in green cover and open spaces in urban areas. As not many would wish to report against neighbor killing greenery, how should this issue be tackled?
It is very true that these days, people are opting to get their lawns cemented for a cleaner look and they do not think twice about getting trees cut. Many people also extend portions of their house, like they get a garage built or even get some other construction done. In residential areas, it is an eyesore and also against norms. Not only this, people get trees planted on the roads outside their houses cut because they think the branches damage wires, which is wrong. It is true that it creates an unpleasant situation if my neighbor is doing such things but, if I really care for Nature, then I would not hesitate from reporting the matter. It is not really important to lodge a police complaint at once but ne can approach a group of like-minded people of the colony and try to talk sense with the person in question. However, if that fails, we should not feel bad about reporting the matter with an authority, be it the local police, the nagar nigam or the LDA because as per the norms, such extended constructions are illegal and unwise. Ritu Yadav, civil service aspirant
There are people who are converting their residential houses into commercial ones and thus getting rid of greenery and ‘kutcha’ lawn into the bargain. Many have sold their houses to those who use the property as godown or build offices and/or shops. It is very painful to see greenery being butchered in this fashion. Such property dealers then start creating pressure on the neighbouring residents to also sell their property to them, which is unethical and illegal. But, does reporting such cases help? I don’t think so as most of the new property owners are powerful and moneyed people and get away without any action against them whereas the person who reports stands cheated. Here I think it is the duty of the authorities concerned to keep an eye on such activities and initiate action on their own. Every residential colony has some association or trust. It is the duty of its members to ensure such activities do not take place. The local corporator should be held responsible. Yes, the residents can complain to him and if he does not act, then the matter should be reported. But it would be better if more than one resident of that colony does that—like sign a petition and hand it over. Divya Pandey, beauty & skin expert
Topic of the month: What are the ways in which you can help in water and Nature conservation around you? You may send your views in 200 words at treetakemagazine@gmail. Please also attach a colour photo of yourself.
Compassion & care are only tools to conserve Nature We asked: What are the ways in which you can help in water, animal & Nature conservation around you? In modern times we find that potable water is dwindling very fast. Most of the sources of soft water like glaciers, rivers, lakes, ponds & underground water are decreasing fast due to global warming & over utilization of water. We can help in saving water & water sources by: 1- Reducing our requirements, 2- Preventing overuse & wastage, 3-helping in ground water recharge by water harvesting, 4-preventing water pollution in underground aquifers, rivers, lakes & ponds by pre-treatment of sewage & reducing the use/release of pollutants, Similarly for encouraging nature’s conservation we can help by:- 1- Reducing our forest & tree based needs of timber, fodder & firewood by adopting their substitutes, 2- Planting more & more trees & other plants, 3- Educating the people, especially the children about the importance of the environmental conservation, ill effects of the air & water pollution, 4-generating love & affection among common people about the components of natural ecosystem like forests, wildlife, water, air & soil on which the existence of all life forms is dependent, 5- Adopting scientific systems of management of different components of our ecosystem. JS Asthana, IFS (Retd), ex-PCCF & HOD, UP Forest Department, Lucknow Many a times, youngsters ask me what they can do to help save this planet. In this day and age of social media where everything is available, and everyone knows everything, you will hardly find any adult who want to learn something new. So when an opportunity comes to talk compassionate to youngsters, it's a welcome change! Here are my top 10 ways to help nature & its inhabitants around us! - Volunteer your time at a shelter close to you - Adopt a pet from your nearest shelter, don't shop! - Circuses treat animals cruelly, boycott circuses - - Birds belong in the wild, don't cage them - Elephants are stolen from the wild, don’t buy elephant rides - Start an animal welfare club in your school/ college/ office - Don't buy plastic and give up on drinking with straws. Plastic is not only non biodegradable but hurts marine animals - Adopt a cat but let it stay indoors. A free roaming pet cat may be very harmful to the environment (by killing hundreds of birds and insects) - Plant a tree. It's not only for oxygen, share and respite from the severe heat; it also provides homes for birds - Want to save water, the planet & animals? The easiest way is to follow a plant based diet. Intensive farming of animals is one of the biggest causes of global warming. The best way you can help yourself, especially if you love animals is to not eat them. So what are you waiting for! Take one step at a time, and you'll be able to help the planet be a better place for everyone including our four legged friends! Alopkparna SenGupta, Deputy Director, Humane Society International/India We Indians have a tendency of taking things for granted until we don't pay for it; the cost may be in terms of money or in form of dwindling natural resources. We have taken water for granted and even today we do not realize that our coming generations will have to pay a heavy price. Just imagine one morning when you get up to wash your face there is no water in tap or anywhere in the house. We are heading towards the day when fresh drinkable water is going to finish. Now what we must do is to stop thinking that it is not me who is responsible. It is time to take responsibility and do something before it is actually too late. First and foremost we must accept that there is scarcity of water. This is very important because once we accept this fact we are ready to find a solution. Small adjustments in our day to day life will make big impacts in the long run so limit your use of water whenever possible. Make people aware about this fact and their role in managing water resources without wasting. Community mobilization is very important. Reuse water at homes wherever possible, water discharged from RO can be used for dishwashing or car wash. Plant more and more tress in your surroundings and make ecosystem greener and water cycle more active. What I believe is if you start looking water from a ‘conservative’ view there will be various ways in which you can save it. So start now, be responsible and work towards a better future. Barkha Tandon, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Avadh Girls Degree College Let’s not exploit the generosity of Nature! Living in a village has taught me so much in life. I had been living the city life since childhood. When I shifted to the hills (Uttarakhand) and saw my father working endlessly to conserve nature, it acted as a total eye opener for me. My father is a great contributor to Nature conservation as he has planted 1000 trees in our village, which has helped in the increase of rainfall and snowfall in the area. He also made sure to plant trees like Cedar, Silver Oak (These trees retain ground water) Apple trees, Peach and Plums too. He transformed the barren land into a beautiful Orchard. But it was not an overnight process. It took him 15 years of hard work and dedication to transform the place into an Orchard. To be in sync with nature you have to have patience. As destruction takes a minute but to rebuild takes a lifetime. We lead a simple life here and I want to share some simple things which can make a huge difference. Firstly I recommend that every person should plant trees, it can be anywhere in your lawn, the park or by the roadside. Just plant as many trees as possible! But don't forget that after planting them you need to take a little care of them as well. For example, if there is no rainfall you need to water the plants and put a little manure. This will send the plants good vibes and they will start to bless you. This will be a small step but the result will bring you great satisfaction. Please stop disposing of your garbage just anywhere. You should do it from where it can get recycled. We at the farm use water wisely because during summers we have to face major water crisis and for that we prepare ourselves during the rains. Villagers walk 4-5 km to get a bucket of water. We have pipes fitted on the roof which help us collect the rain water in water tanks. We also collect the waste water from the RO and use it to wash utensils. We also keep a check on our flushing habits and use an efficient flushing system. While brushing or washing your face don't keep the tap on constantly. Have shorter showers while bathing. And when planning to wash clothes in the washing machine see that it is fully loaded. Nature has been really kind to us; let us give it the respect it deserves because we should always remember Nature's fury. If we will not have any trees or water there is no way we can survive. Let's be the protectors of Nature and not bombard it for our greed. Preeti Goswami, Law student & owner of Mahadeva Village Homestay Topic of the month: Use of crackers during Diwali is extremely injurious, sometime fatal, to both domestic and stray animals and birds. Should there be a law banning loud noise emitting crackers like bomb and strings and should the police ordered to intervene and take action against offenders? You may send your views in 200 words at treetakemagazine@gmail. Please also attach a colour photo of yourself.