The Kejriwal Government has constantly reinforced the importance of protecting the environment and preserving the green heritage of the Delhi. In that prospect, the plantation of 22 lac trees has been completed by the Kejriwal Government, informed Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai. He said that a further of 11 lac more trees will be planted and One Crore Seventy Lac trees have been planted in Delhi in the last seven years. He said that the ‘Green Cover’ of Delhi increased by 2,500 hectares under the Kejriwal Government achieving an impressive 21.88% of cover. The Delhi Government will organise a Wildlife Conservation Awareness Campaign at Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary from October 2.
Shri Gopal Rai said, “To curb pollution in Delhi, tree plantation drives have been great contributors. The balance which trees create in the environment is being restored by the Delhi government aggressively. Today we held a meeting with the high-ranking officials of the forest department in which, we noted that 22,32,000 out of 33 Lakh tree plantation target has been achieved. We started working on this pledge from right from Van Mahotsav and have achieved so much of this target already. DDA, NDMC PWD, SDMC, Education Department, NDMC, CPWD, Delhi Jal Board, East Delhi Municipal Corporation, Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation, BSES, Rajdhani Power, Northern Railways, Delhi Metro Corporation, NDPL data, DTC and horticulture department are the 19 departments which are working collaboratively to plant trees in Delhi. We are targeting to plant all these trees by March 2022 and it was stated in the report which came up today in the meeting. “
Talking about the tree plantation statistics over the years by the Kejriwal government, Shri Gopal Rai said, “When the fight against pollution was started by the Kejriwal government, in 2015-16, 16,51,000 trees were planted, in 2016-17, 24,75,000 trees were planted, in 2017-18, 16,00,000 trees were planted, in 2018-19, 28,95,000 trees were planted and in 2019-20, 28,70,000 trees were planted. In the previous Kejriwal government of 2015-2020, a total of 1,15,00,000 trees were planted in 5 years in Delhi. Last year we planted 32,40,000 trees and this year we have planted 22 lakh trees so far. Therefore, in the last seven years Kejriwal government has planted 1,70,00,000 trees.”
Telling about the green cover target completion of Delhi, Shri Gopal Rai said, “The Forest survey of India has mentioned two categories of terrain for the purpose of green cover- first one is hilly and the second one is plains. The forest survey of India says that the hilly areas should have at least 60% of their land under green cover and the planes should have at least 20%. We are pleased to inform you that Delhi has crossed this 20% mark. In 2019 itself, the report by the Forest Survey of India stated that Delhi had 21.88% of its area was under the green belt. In 2015, the total area of Delhi was 1483 sq. kilometres. Out of this, 325 sq. kilometre green belt was developed in Delhi which amounted to 21.88% of the area.”
He said, “In 2015, the total area of Delhi was 1483 sq km and 299 sq km was a green belt, or 20.2%. In 2017, this grew to 20.59%. The 2019 survey showed that the green belt had increased to 325 sq km, which was 21.88%. We have touched more than 22% of the green belt. Since 2015, almost 1 crore 70 lakh plants have been planted in Delhi. These reports have been used in meetings with other departments. Every department has appointed different agencies, like Forest Research Institute Dehradun, Pusa Institute,among others. Third party audit is going on for these.”
“Today we have set the end goal that within one month, we will ask for a primary report of what plants are surviving- in which areas, etc. Forest Research of India has given a primary report of the forest department- according to this some areas have 90% success rate, some 65%, some even lower than 50%. Detailed final report will be sent in one month, according to which we will increase survival rates. Alongside the Green belt, forest animals are affected greatly. Pollution by humans releases gases that are really harmful. Nature has created a system where they absorb our pollution, but these cycles are breaking. So, on behalf of the Delhi Government’s forest department, we want to maintain the natural balance. Therefore between 2 October to 8 October, we will hold a Van Jeev Sanrakshan Abhiyan programme at the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary. Activities will be carried out to sensitise people. We are committed to preserving the environment,” he concluded.