Sustainability must be the Core of Infrastructure

In August, we at EROS Group in association with IFFCO KISAN organized a plantation drive with an aim to provide a safe and health environment for students. At schools across Delhi, not only did we plant saplings but also sought the help of the tiny-tots in doing so in order to cultivate a spirit of friendship and belonging in them to one’s environment.

In an increasingly urbanizing Delhi, we understand just how vital green spaces are and as one of the leaders in the real estate industry here actively strives to integrate sustainability into our properties. In the wake of the recent pollution, these past efforts of ours have come as a lifeline for those in our properties and in the surrounding areas.

The pollution in Delhi is a result of a lot of things but the blame for its continued reoccurrence rests on all of us. In turning blind to the cutting of one tree or a patch of green, we are depleting Delhi of its green lung.

It worries me greatly than the alignment of the new road proposed to be built from NH-8 to Gurugram-Faridabad Road passes 20-25 meters inside the compound of what is perhaps Delhi’s last hope when it comes to combating the rising levels of pollution, the Aravali Biodiversity Park.

It is no surprise that the project is facing stiff opposition from residents’ groups. This new road will, if not today, then certainly, in the long run, put the park at peril and ultimately destroy it.

As I understand, this 2km stretch of the road is to pass through the park and was it to be built, it will lop off an entire portion along one of the park’s two long edges, cutting a crescent-shaped slice through it. Though no specific numbers have been shared on how much of the 380-acre park will get affected, environmentalists and residents’ groups fear that building a road will do far more damage than just reducing the park area. It is going to affect its flora and fauna and ultimately threaten its survival.

And amid claims by the state government officials about a rethink of the blueprint to take the road along the boundary wall of the park rather than through its compound, I learned that the alignment was revised this April to take the road closer to the edge of the park than it was before.

The road has been envisaged as an access-controlled expressway – part of the Greater Southern Peripheral Road from Ambience Mall to Kherki Daula – which means crash barriers will be built as well, which is going to take up even more land.

And it is not the highway alone that one needs to be worried about – it’s what the highway would eventually bring. Shops, peddlers, pedestrians and illegal and make-shift constructions on the sides. With each passing day, they are all going to encroach on this park and ruin its tranquillity and disturb the natural habitats of so many species. The light from the highway and the cars are also an added factor turning the night into day for the small animals that take shelter there.

With it now becoming more and more difficult to breathe in Delhi, we must look to our many actions that had led to the construction of this highway. Could we have taken the metro, avoid our cars and decongest the existing highways? Could we have let that one tree stand in our backyard where the little robin took shelter rather than have it cut down to build a swimming pool? Could we have protested a little louder when these plans were still on paper? Could we protest louder still now that the plan is underway?

We at EROS Group has always paid need to the surroundings when going about constructing our buildings. Sustainability is in the core of our efforts. Our 70-year long legacy has been built on it. The next time you are about in Delhi and see our sign, know that you’ve been taken care of!

 

[Photo by rawpixel]

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