Delhi’s green cover rose as govt planted around 2.5 crore trees in 4 years: Gopal Rai

- June 19, 2024
| By : Patriot Bureau |

Delhi's green cover rose from 20 per cent in 2013 to 23.6 per cent in 2021

Amid the searing heat in the national capital, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday announced that the plantation of around 2.5 crore saplings in the past four years has increased the city’s green cover.

To reduce air pollution and combat the heat wave, a meeting to execute the 12-point summer action plan formulated by the Delhi government, led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, was held on Tuesday, officials said.

Representatives of more than 25 agencies met under the chairmanship of Rai at the Delhi Secretariat to ensure the success of the tree plantation campaign, which is part of the action plan, they added.

Delhi’s green cover rose from 20 per cent in 2013 to 23.6 per cent in 2021, Rai stated during a press conference.

The minister emphasized that increasing the green cover is the primary solution to rising temperatures, which have broken records in Delhi and across the country in the last one-and-a-half months.

During the last election, the Delhi chief minister promised to plant two crore saplings in five years. Rai noted, “In the last four years, we have planted 2.5 crore saplings. The government achieved this target a year ahead of schedule by working with over 25 greening agencies in the city.”

“We are continually working to increase the green cover in the national capital. In 2013, the city’s green area was 20 per cent, rising to 23.6 per cent in 2021 due to our tree plantation campaign,” he added.

Following the meeting, Rai revealed that the Delhi government aims to plant and distribute 64 lakh saplings this year, including 24.83 lakh larger plants and 31.57 lakh shrubs, with 7.74 lakh saplings distributed free of cost to Delhi residents.

“Last year, we aimed to plant 52 lakh saplings. This year, our target is 64 lakh. The forest department will plant 20.40 lakh saplings, the DDA will plant 10.20 lakh, NDMC six lakh, the education department 3.30 lakh, and the MCD six lakh,” the minister said.

All agencies in Delhi are making concerted efforts to reduce pollution and increase the city’s green cover. Rai highlighted that Delhi has become number one in the country in terms of per capita forest cover among cities.

Rai urged Delhiites to support the campaign by planting trees in their homes, with free medicinal plants provided by the government. This year, over 7.74 lakh plants will be distributed free of cost. The forest department will distribute 4.80 lakh plants, the Delhi Parks and Garden Society 2.50 lakh, CPWD 40,000, and the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board 4,000, Rai stated.

He directed forest department officials to collect details of tree plantations from various departments and instructed all concerned departments to conduct third-party audits to check the survival rate of the planted saplings.  (With inputs from PTI)