Concretization of green areas damaging ecology: activists

Ghaziabad: Environmentalists and Green groups in Ghaziabad have warned of serious ecological damage to the district due to concretization of open, green areas here.
Accusing the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) and Municipal Corporation of indulging in "flawed" urban planning, environmentalists have said that the indiscriminate concretization of open surfaces, especially in residential areas, without considering the local ecology, was giving rise to a host of serious complications for human life.
"Ghaziabad is a critical area declared by the Central Ground Water Authority because of its poor ground water quality and fast lowering water table," green activist Akash Vashishtha said.
"The GDA is unable to implement the water harvesting mechanism and have even failed to enforce the government orders in this regard. In such a scenario, tiling and concretization prevent natural recharge of aquifers and are bound to aggravate the crisis," he alleged.
On June 30, green groups and residents of the city had launched a protest plantation at a park in Raj Nagar, whose 60 feet wide green periphery was being concretized by the municipal corporation.
"The city's soil, especially urban pockets, has compacted, and their organic matter almost finished. The air and water retention capacities of the soil have reduced to almost nil," Vashishtha said.
Environmentalists said they had complained about the issue several times to the local agencies but no action was taken into the issue.
Reacting to the issue, Divisional Forest Officer (Ghaziabad) Joga Singh, said, "We have written to the Muncipal Corporation to look into the issue and rectify the problem. We have asked them to submit a status report on the matter."
The concretization of soiled surfaces is alarmingly shooting up the temperatures by up to 4 degrees, causing local and regional warming in the upper layers of the atmosphere, environmentalists said, adding the degree of damage it would cause to human life, apart from the flora and fauna was tremendous.
Delhi High Court has ordered agencies to leave 6×6 feet space around the base of each tree and the National Green Tribunal ordered to leave 1 metre radius around each tree.
Environmentalists claim that despite several complaints being made about the issue to local agencies, no action has been taken.