Delhi Green cover rose by 15 sqkm from 2003-2005: Forest Survey

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New Delhi, Feb 22 (UNI) A recent survey has revealed that the green cover in the capital rose by 15 sq km between 2003 and 2005, belying the fears expressed by environmentalists that various infrastructural projects in Delhi over the last few years were destroying the city's ecosystem.

The total green cover in Delhi rose from 268 sq km in 2003 to 283 sq km in 2005, a 15 sq km increase, a report by the Forest Survey of India, under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, today said.

Out of this 15 sq km, 9 sq km was the increase in tree cover which was estimated by the FSI through high resolution satellite data. The remaining 6 sq km was on account of an increase in forest cover.

In terms of percentage of the total geographical area of 1483 sq km, the green cover rose from 18.07 per cent in 2003 to 19.09 per cent in 2005, which was an increase of more than one per cent of the geographical area in two years.

The total green cover of 283 sq km was made up of 107 sq km of tree cover and 176 sq km of forest cover.

These are the findings of the tenth report by the Forest Survey of India on the status of the Forest Cover as in 2005. The report was released earlier this month.

An analysis of the 9 districts revealed that between 2003 and 2005 data, five districts have recorded higher forest cover with New Delhi showing the largest increase of about 1.5 sq km, and South West Delhi recording a rise of nearly 1.4 sq km Other districts which have done well are North West Delhi, North Delhi and West Delhi.

This is on account of the fact that the Delhi Government has been planting more than 1 million trees every year since 2002.

Of the other districts, while in the districts of Central Delhi, the tree cover has not increased due to lack of availability of land, in the remaining 3 districts of East Delhi, North East Delhi and South Delhi the increase has been very marginal.

The Delhi Government has noted this phenomena, and all out efforts will be made to concentrate on these three districts for more intensive tree plantation.

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