In a bid to increase the green cover and improve the air-quality in the national capital, the Delhi Government will plant 10 lakh saplings across various degraded forest lands in the capital.
The budget for the project worth Rs 140.74 crores was approved by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the meeting of Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) held recently.
Talking about the same, the Deputy Chief Minister said, “This is not just an allocation of funds but investment for the quality of health of Delhi residents. Over the years the green cover has grown in the national capital and it will be further improved after plantation of 10 lakh saplings. This project will help us restore Delhi’s green lungs.”
Sisodia added that as a part of the project the forest land in Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary, Dera Mandi, Ghittorni, Maidangarhi, Rangpuri, Tughlaqabad, Pul Pehladpur and Rajokri of Southern Ridge area, which has large chunk of less vegetated forest areas will be eco-restored by suppression/removal of invasive species, Wildlife Habitat improvement and soil moisture conservation measures.
According to the Delhi government, the green cover of Delhi has increased from 299.77sqkm in 2015 to 342sqkm in 2021.
The forest department will plant more than 6 lakh saplings on ‘mission mode’ before this monsoon and another 4 lakh saplings in next monsoon season, which is the best time for planting, said Sisodia.
Along with native species of Aravali, the saplings shortlisted for plantation include specially grown plant species in the upgraded nursery of the forest department.
These plantations will be taken care of by the Eco Task Force appointed by the Delhi’s forest department.
The Eco Task Force has been formed by the Delhi government for another five years, which will be responsible for maintaining the plantations, protecting the forest areas from threat of encroachment and supporting the forest department in minimizing the threat to thriving wildlife in the area.
Ex. Servicemen/officers from the territorial army will be engaged in the Eco Task Force for the creation of a plantation of 10 lakh saplings and its maintenance for five years.