An "anti-smog gun", a machine that sprays atomised water into the air to reduce pollution, is pictured during its trial run organised by the Department of Environment and Delhi Pollution Control Committee at a bus terminal in New Delhi, India, December 20, 2017.Reuters

People living in one of the areas in Delhi to be affected by the cutting of 16,500 trees took to streets on Monday to protest against the move over the weekend.

Around 100 residents gathered in Sarojini Nagar and lit candles and carried placards with slogans like 'Don't cut down a life' and 'Mujhe Mat Maaro' written on them.

As the word spread online, many social and environmental groups joined the protest and posted hashtags like #SaveTreesSaveDelhi, #SaveDelhi and #DelhiTreeSOS.

Green activists say that they want something on the lines of the Delhi gangrape protests in December 2012, which brought Delhi together, to save the trees.

"This time the horror is air pollution and smog which is going to increase by the cutting of 16,500 trees," says a green activist.

Organised under the banner of 'Delhi Trees SOS', the protests will continue for the next few days.

"We are concerned that the environment is deteriorating at a rapid pace and the culling of so many trees will only hasten the process. Members of the group are going around Sarojini Nagar and hugging and tying rakhis on the trees and will continue to do so till the authorities drop the plan to cut the trees," says Juhi, a founder member of the group.

WhatsApp groups like 'Delhi Blue Skies' and 'Save 16500' among others have been created exclusively to discuss and plan protests to stop the trees being cut.

Stand-up comedian and environmentalist Vasu Primlani will organise a protest at the same venue on June 29. Local celebs like Swara Bhasker and Adil Hussain have been contacted and requested to use their star status to convince the government to take back their controversial decision.

Residents of Sarojini Nagar including school children also joined the protest.

Bhavna Garg, a class 9 student and resident of Sarojini Nagar, says, "I don't want to wear a mask to school. I live here and a large number of trees are being felled in the area. If standing here for hours holding a candle leads to saving the trees from being cut, I am ready to do it."

"Around Divali in 2017, the pollution was so bad in Delhi that all my friends bought a mask. I hate wearing a mask again and that is why I have joined the protest. We have no choice but attend school during smog, but we can try and save the trees," says Shubho Mukherjee, a class 8 student who also resides in Sarojini Nagar.