Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena has highlighted the efforts undertaken in Delhi to plant bamboo trees to augment oxygen supply in the national capital, saying this initiative will help revive the city’s ambience.
At a recent meeting of the Northern Zonal Council in Amritsar, Saxena made a presentation on the good practices and innovative steps taken in Delhi in recent months.
The Northern Zonal Council — chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah — comprises Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territories of Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Chandigarh.
Saxena said the city government’s forest department planted about 2.9 lakh bamboo trees and the Delhi Development Authority another 25,000 across the city, including at ‘Baansera’ on the Yamuna’s bank.
Saxena claimed bamboo trees emit 30 per cent more oxygen compared to other plant species and consume less water, helping raise the water table.
These trees, despite scepticism by “experts”, have grown up to 10-20 feet during the past eight months. While Delhi suffers from “imported air pollution” from other states, this initiative will help revive and refurbish the city’s ambience, Saxena told the gathering.
Similarly, in an effort to clean the Najafgarh drain and the Yamuna river, the extremely cost-effective and innovative measure of “partial gravitational de-silting” was used to dispose of thousands of tons of accumulated silt and garbage, he said.
This apart, motor boats with attached rotor blades were used to cut hyacinth into small pieces that were then loaded onto trucks using conveyer belts. These were then put beneath the soil on the banks of the drain/river, turning them into natural manure, the Lt Governor said.
For the disposal of waste accumulated at Delhi’s infamous landfill sites, Saxena said innovative measures such as selling the refuse-derived fuel (RDF) to cement and paper industries for their boilers and plants was undertaken.
These industries in Rajasthan and Western UP respectively, had started paying the MCD Rs 100 per ton for the RDF picked, instead of about Rs 2500 that MCD was paying to get this RDF picked earlier. Before undertaking this exercise, the LG had got the Gross Calorific Value of the RDF calculated, and once it came out that this value was more than coal, the same was offered to these industries as cheaper fuel that could replace coal.