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Mega green drive: NDMC areas to get 10 lakh more trees

Students of 51 NDMC schools will kick off the campaign on Saturday.

delhi Updated: Jul 14, 2017 23:11 IST
Ritam Halder
The NDMC area, a leafy VIP zone in the city’s heart, is home to a mere 1.5% of the Capital’s 16.78 million people and covers just 3% of the city.
The NDMC area, a leafy VIP zone in the city’s heart, is home to a mere 1.5% of the Capital’s 16.78 million people and covers just 3% of the city.(HT File)

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is all set to start a mega greening drive this weekend.

The council -- which looks after the Capital’s high-profile neighbourhoods housing the power elite, embassies, top markets and fancy restaurants -- plans to conduct weekly drives in big gardens, sides of wide roads, local parks and government offices and quarters.

“It will be spread across 4-5 weeks and we plan to plant more than 10 lakh saplings, more than last year’s 7.5 lakh. We will include schoolchildren, politicians, expats and residents and market associations. The idea is to systematically engage each and every stakeholder,” NDMC secretary Chanchal Yadav told HT.

On Saturday, students of 51 NDMC schools will kick off the campaign.

“Over 30,000 students in these schools will do plantation on their premises and adjoining areas. We are focusing on indigenous species such as babul, ber, amaltas, keekar and peepal. These are native to the city and flourish in this weather. We will plant some trees that have seasonal flowers such as jacaranda, gulmohar and champa, which will give a boost to aesthetic beauty,” Yadav said.

The NDMC area, a leafy VIP zone in the city’s heart, is home to a mere 1.5% of the Capital’s 16.78 million people and covers just 3% of the city. But it has nearly 48% green cover and the council now aims to make it 50%.

Even last year, as part of the plantation drive of the NDMC, ambassadors and high commissioners of Hungary, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Ethiopia planted saplings on the premises and surrounding of their embassies in Lutyen’s Delhi.

In the diplomatic areas, the saplings selected by the embassies included orchids, red cotton, dwarf marigold, badalia, callistemon, bottle brush, silver oak, zapota, achras zapota, ziziphus mauritiana, morus alba, neem and ashok.

Politicians and ministers, too, had joined in. Union home minister Rajnath Singh planted a sapling of rudraksh at his official residence at Akbar Road while minister of states for minorities affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and MPs Sona Ram Choudhary and Prasanna Kumar took part in the drive at their residences.

But what happens to all these saplings the NDMC claims to plant every year? Officials say a yearly audit takes places to keep a tab on the upkeep of the saplings and monitor the plantation drives

“We do a survival audit every year. The success rate of last year’s plantation is nearly 80%,” the secretary said.