The Delhi Government has decided to set up a nine-member committee to suggest alternatives to overcome the shortage of land for tree plantation in the national Capital.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Friday made the announcement while rejecting a request by the Delhi Development Authority to revise the compensatory plantation scheme guidelines and bring down the number of saplings to be planted for every tree felled from 10 to 2.
“The DDA wrote to the Delhi Forest Department saying they do not have land for compensatory plantation. They have requested us to make changes in the guidelines. We are rejecting the request considering the status of the environment in Delhi,” said the Minister.
“The Government will instead ask the DDA to inform how much land is available for plantation in the Capital. It has also been decided to set up a nine-member "Green Cover Development Committee" to suggest alternatives to overcome the shortage of land for tree plantations,” said Rai.
The panel will have members from the Public Works Department, DDA, Forest Department, municipal corporations, School of Planning and Architecture, Central Public Works Department, Delhi Urban Arts Commission and the IARI-PUSA.
It will look at options like space available on the roofs of government buildings, vertical greening etc. Rai also said government will ask Dehradun-based Forest Research Institute to conduct a third-party audit of tree transplantation in Delhi. “Over last two to three years, 27 agencies and departments have been allowed to transplant trees for their developmental work.
Prominent among them are National Highway Authority of India, National Capital Region Transport Corporation, National Buildings Construction Corporation, Delhi Metro, Delhi Jal Board, Public Works Department, Central Public Works Department, Rail Land Development Authority and MCD,” said Rai.
“We had directed them to submit a report on the number of trees transplanted, their locations and their survival rate by May 13. A report suggests a project-wise survival rate of up to 55 per cent. However, some agencies have performed poorly," Rai said.
Based on FRI audit report, government will blacklist agencies and departments which have fared badly and review their permission for construction work, the minister said.