Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday announced that the city government will start the second phase of the tree plantation campaign from October 15.
Addressing a press conference after chairing a high-level meeting to further expand the reach of the Kejriwal Government’s plantation drive, the Delhi Environment Minister said all the departments will conduct third party audits of the plantation.
He said, “We had set a target of planting 35 lakh saplings by March next year. Out of this, 33.79 lakh saplings have already been planted. Riding on the success of the tree plantation drive, Delhi Government has increased this year’s target from 35 lakhs to 42.81. We have instructed the Forest Department to conduct random checks of the saplings planted by the greening agencies.”
Rai said the city government has prepared ‘Winter Action Plan’ to deal with rising pollution in Delhi.
Various departments were ordered to submit a report on a 15-point programme, he said.
Departments are gearing up for the plan and several departments have submitted their reports, Rai said.
“We will conduct a joint meeting of all the departments to compile the Winter Action Plan on September 16th. One important point out of these 15 points is tree plantation. During his election campaign, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal guaranteed that our government will plant 2 crore plants in the next five years to increase the coverage of green belt in Delhi. We are continuously running the plantation drive in collaboration with various agencies in all the areas of Delhi,” he said.
The Delhi Environment Minister said, “This year, we kept a target of planting and distributing 35 lakh saplings. We are proud of the fact that we were supposed to achieve this target in March but we have already planted 33 lakh saplings with the cooperation of all the agencies in Delhi. We ran various mega plantation drives. It is a big achievement that we have already achieved 96% of our target. In view of this, I conducted a meeting with top officials of the Forest Department. We assessed the performance of all the agencies. We have revised the target of 35 lakh saplings to 42 lakh saplings by the end of March next year.”
Rai said, “The second phase of tree plantation drive will begin from October 15. Under this, a special campaign for tree plantation will be carried out on the banks of river Yamuna. Plants which are suitable to the soil and environment will be planted.”
“I request the people of Delhi to participate in this noble cause to improve the environment of Delhi. This campaign will not only increase the green cover of Delhi but will also prove to be the foundation for curbing the problem of pollution in future,” he said.