Reimagining Delhi’s open green spaces

Since a few years the Indian capital is being defamed for its high pollution and massive population which has painted a dreadful image of the city. However, after the release of the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), there is a need for a revised portrayal of Delhi’s image with the increased open green spaces, as the report shows

Delhi is a city which is catering to a massive population of nearly 3 crores, making it the second most populated city worldwide after Tokyo. Also, being the capital city of India, one of largest developing nations, the city suffers with high amounts of air and water pollution; insufficient resources to cater to the needs of the population; clogged traffic on roads; noise pollution and many more city issues.
To escape the daily hustle, one needs a calm on green open space and Delhi has a good number of such spaces to offer. And, with the ISFR report claiming a significant increase in the open green spaces like parks, gardens, open forests, etc. the city is on its way to mend its image and create a cleaner and greener environment.

What Delhi has to offer
India gate lawns, Central Park, Purana Quila lawns, Zoo, Lodhi gardens, Deer park and a lot more of such spaces are there for Delhiites to take a break from their fast-paced lifestyle. As per the Delhi’s Parks and Gardens Society, Government of Delhi, there are 18000 parks and gardens in the city spread across 8000 hectares out of which 6400 parks and gardens are in South Delhi itself. The city is also home to a great number of heritage sites which are the core tourist attractions in the city. Due to a high footfall, the heritage sites like Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar, Purana Quila, Red Fort, etc. are well maintained and equipped with various facilities for the visitors. A large number of Delhiites and tourists from neighbouring cities as well as foreign countries visiting these sites are a common sight. Open greens provide breathing spaces for the urban people and are essential for people to live a healthy life. In addition, the city planners and architects are working towards improving the open spaces in the city by introducing concepts like building boulevards, open gyms, sidewalks with spaces to rest one’s back, and more. Although the city is offering all of it for its citizens, what about citizens’ approach towards the city?

Where we lack?
There is an urgent need to bring behavioural changes in the population of Delhi along with other cities as well. People throwing garbage in the open, urinating in public areas, spitting, are just a few examples of negligent behaviour which can be observed commonly at any hour of the day. Open dumping of garbage is a rising issue and is one of the major factors damaging, not just the aesthetics of the parks and gardens, but the soil, plantation and air around as well.
The city authorities need to take up initiatives for organising awareness programmes to sensitize people and to try and reduce negligent attitude towards the environment. Also, penalties and fines should not only be limited to the books but its implementated at the ground level as it is highly important for avoiding misuse of the open public greens.
An effective plan for sensitising people and efficient ground work for the same can probably be the key to improvement. Proper upkeep of dustbins and their regular cleaning should be a corrective measure for the authorities to implement. As broken bins, unmaintained and defunct toilets are a common sight, these need attention too.

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