Delhi has become greener, says report

February 22nd, 2008 - 11:53 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) The number of buildings and flyovers in the capital may have gone up but so has the city’s green cover, which has increased by 15 sq km during 2003-05, says a survey report. The total green cover of the city is 283 sq km - which is 19.09 percent of the total 1,483 sq km geographical area, the Delhi chief minister’s office said here Friday, highlighting the latest report of the Forest Survey of India (FSI).

“It is made up of made up 107 sq km of tree cover and 176 sq km of forest cover, making a total of 283 sq km as on 2005,” the statement said.

“Despite several infrastructure projects and large-scale construction going on in the city, the FSI survey data shows that the green cover of Delhi has increased by 15 sq kms during 2003-05,” the statement said.

“This 15 sq km cover is made up of nine sq km increase in tree cover, and six sq km increase on account of improvement in the forest cover,” a forest department official told IANS.

The latest survey suggests an increase of green cover from 18.07 percent to 19.09 now - up by over one percent in two years.

The Dehradun-based FSI, an agency under the ministry of environment and forests, conducts a survey of the green cover through high-resolution satellite data every 10 years. The latest status report was released earlier this month.

The survey aims at monitoring the changing situation of land and forest resources for national planning, conservation and implementation of social forestry projects.

The official attributed the increase in greenery to the plantation drive under which over one million saplings are planted every year by various agencies like the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), and the Public Works Department (PWD). The government has set a target of planting over 1.8 million saplings in 2008-09.

“As per our estimation, the tree cover in Delhi has surpassed 300 sq km by 2007. We have already created nine new forests districts covering nearly 250 hectares of land. Over 500,000 saplings were distributed through 1,650 eco-club schools in the past couple of years,” the official said.

The government intends to increase the overall green coverage to 25 percent by 2010 when the Commonwealth Games begin.

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