A banyan tree within the Capital’s Chandni Chowk space that could possibly be 300 years previous might need braved the ravages of time because the 17th century. However right this moment it’s dealing with a risk to its very survival owing to unfettered urbanisation. Final month, the forest division of the Delhi authorities issued a discover beneath part 13 of the Delhi Prevention of Bushes Act (DPTA), 1994 which permits the adoption of bushes.
In reply to a query by IANS, Ravindar Kumar, a forest officer within the Delhi Authorities, mentioned, “Two individuals have utilized for adopting the banyan tree. Nonetheless, none of them have visited the location thus far. We’re ready for extra individuals to come back ahead to undertake it.”
The branches of the towering tree are actually being impeded by concrete partitions of an under-construction constructing, which is a part of a mission being developed by an actual property agency. Realising the risk to the tree that’s a part of the constructed heritage of Chandni Chowk, two native residents have even filed a petition in a courtroom.
A bench of Delhi Excessive Courtroom listening to a petition filed by businessman Nitin Gupta in August final 12 months, rapped each the forest division and the North Delhi Municipal Company and mentioned: “How are you going to do that to a 300-year-old tree? It has existed even earlier than the British even considered coming to India. It is part of the town’s heritage. How are you going to injury it on this method?”
Nitin Gupta, who runs a clothes store behind the under-construction construction, mentioned he filed the petition not simply to forestall injury to the tree but additionally to his enterprise institution. Pointing in direction of the cracks in his store, Gupta mentioned, “Within the Walled Metropolis, many buildings are greater than 150 years previous. Because of digging of the basement space round 10-15 outlets have been broken.”
“The builder has banned entry on the website and has deployed safety guards in order that no person can take pictures of the heritage tree. We learn within the information that caretakers can be appointed to take care of it however nothing has occurred thus far,” Gupta additional mentioned.
Kushmakar Rastogi, the opposite petitioner, who runs a clothes store close to the heritage tree, mentioned he’s awaiting the appointment of a caretaker for the tree by the forest division.
Recounting the historical past of the tree, locals say it has been housed at Badwali Kothi owned by Satyanarayan Gudwale. The home was later transferred to Jogdhayan Rastogi. “Rastogi, in flip, arrange the Hari Bhawan Rastogi Memorial belief in 1964 and after his dying, the land was divided into three components and bought to a builder,” says Kushmakar Rastogi.
Whereas the Delhi Excessive Courtroom in its statement on August 13, 2020, has estimated the tree to be over 300 years previous, the forest division claimed it was a minimum of 150 years previous.
Standing tall at Badwali Kothi, one of many oldest buildings within the neighbourhood, one of many many buildings recognized within the space by the heritage bushes they home corresponding to Peepalwali Kothi, the Banyan Tree now awaits a couple of good patrons who can flip saviours and assist nurture its ‘heritage’ standing.