[ecis2016.org] Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to Lt Governor Anil Baijal, urging him to direct the DDA to participate in a ‘mega plantation drive’, to be conducted on September 8, 2018, alleging that the Authority has refused to participate
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, on August 21, 2018, shot off a letter to the Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, alleging that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had refused to participate in the Delhi government’s tree plantation drive. Kejriwal said that Delhi was facing huge air pollution and to tackle that, the Delhi government planned to conduct a mega tree plantation drive on September 8, 2018. In the letter, Kejriwal said that on August 18, 2018, a meeting was called to plan the plantation drive but the DDA did not participate in this meeting.
“When I called you (LG) and informed you, you were kind enough to say that you would ensure participation of VC, DDA in the next meeting. It pains me to inform that today, a junior level officer from the DDA came to the meeting and informed that the DDA has already planted three lakh trees and will not participate in this tree plantation drive,” he said.
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A senior DDA official rejected the allegation, saying, “A top official of its landscape department, of the rank of additional commissioner, attended the meeting on behalf of the urban body. Our representative in the meeting did not say that we won’t participate,” he said. “We already have a target of planting 5,000 trees on September 8, 2018 and therefore, our manpower will be engaged in that work. Also, it doesn’t make sense to devote manpower towards planting trees, in areas which fall under the Delhi government’s jurisdiction,” he said.
The chief minister claimed that when the DDA official was informed that the DDA had a target of 10 lakh trees during this year, the official of the land-owning agency still refused to participate in the tree plantation drive. “I am writing this, to request you to direct the DDA to participate in this noble effort, in which a large number of Delhi citizens are expected to participate. This is an important effort, in tackling pollution in Delhi,” Kejriwal added.
Meanwhile, during the review, all the greening agencies presented their preparations for the mega plantation drive in September. Most of the greening agencies were close to their target and seemed to be on the mark. “However, the Delhi Development Authority was the only agency, which was short of answers and was trailing by 70 per cent of its greening target for the current year. The DDA refused to participate in the mega plantation drive,” government said in a statement.
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