Delhi government mulls city's first tree census

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New Delhi, Aug 16: Delhi Government is mulling conducting the city's first ever tree census with an aim to protect its green cover.

"Public Grievances Commission had recently recommended us to carry out tree census in the city... The plan is still on the anvil.

tree

We will announce shortly the outline of the census. "However, such a massive census can not be done by the government alone and involvement of Residents' Welfare Associations and civic agencies will be crucial in this endeavour," a state Environment Department official said.

The government would like to play a supervisory role in the initiative, he added. Earlier, tree census in the national capital used to be carried out by green activists and civic agencies, on their own, who limited the exercise to only a few pockets in the city.

These activists and city residents feel that with the government chipping in, the initiative would now be undertaken at broader-level unlike in small areas earlier. "We have been conducting census since 2012.

But the exercise is often restricted to few areas, as being a voluntary organisation, we cannot bring vast resources into the exercise," Suhas Borker, who had conducted first private tree count in Delhi in Sarvodya Enclave, said.

"Though NDMC staffers help in the census, the paraphernalia and the human resource is provided by our organization," said Borker, who is the founder-member of 'Green Circle of Delhi'.

The organisation had conducted a tree count in Samachar Apartments (Mayur Vihar), Jor Bagh and Lodhi Garden, earlier this year. "We counted 7,055 trees and 189 species in Lodhi Garden. We found trees with a girth of 5.3m and a height exceeding 70 feet," Borker said.

The Jor Bagh census saw the marking of 1,720 trees and counted 1,500 species of insects and micro-organisms necessary for ecological balance, said Lalit Agarwal, who headed the Jor Bagh drive. 

Dr Narendra Kumar, a green activist, noted that such a census holds importance as it also comes handy in identifying sick trees.

"The census also involves checking trees for diseases. It is not a stand alone exercise. Ownership of trees by citizens is crucial behind success of the exercise," he said.

PTI

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