Delhi govt to launch week-long wildlife protection programme

Source :IANS
Author :IANS
Last Updated: Tue, Sep 28th, 2021, 16:01:35hrs
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New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) The Delhi government will launch a week-long wildlife protection programme from October 2 at Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Tuesday.

"In addition to the active tree-plantation drive in Delhi, the city government is now planning to sensitise the masses about the importance of wildlife protection. To spread awareness about the same, Delhi government will launch a wildlife protection programme from October 2 that will last till October 8 at New Delhi's Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary," Rai said while addressing a press conference.

"The Delhi government has also set a target of planting 33 lakh saplings for this year (ending March 31, 2022)," he said, adding that the decision was taken during a review meeting with forest department officials on Tuesday.

"Of our target of 33 lakh saplings, 22 lakh 32 thousand saplings have already been planted from the week of 'van mahotsav' (forest festival) kicked-off by the Delhi government in the month of June," the Minister said, adding that total 19 departments are managing the plantation drive.

Updating on Delhi's green cover, Rai said: "In the last five years, a total 1 crore 15 lakh saplings have been planted in the national capital. Our city's greenbelt area today stands at 21.88 per cent, which is 1.88pc more than the prescribed green limit for a plain area like Delhi," he added.

According to the Forest Survey of India, greenbelt area for a mountainous region should be 60 per cent of its total area and 20 per cent for a plain area.

"In the year 2015-16, 16,51,000 saplings were planted, in 2016-17 - 24 lakh, in 2017-18 - 16 lakh, in 2018-19 and 2019-2020 - 28 lakh, amounting to over a crore saplings," the Minister said.

A third-party audit by the Forest and Research Institute, Dehradun, and Pusa Institute will be done to ascertain the above-mentioned figure, Rai said: "These audits reports will provide and exact figure of the success rate of these plantation drives telling us how many plants have survived till now and in which area."

Officials from the Delhi Forest Department, Delhi Development Authority, Municipal Corporations of Delhi, Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited, State Industrial and Infrastructural Development Corporation, Northern Railways, Cantonment Board, North Delhi Power Limited, Delhi Transport Corporation and Horticulture Department attended the review meeting on the tree plantation campaign

--IANS

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