Top officials and civil society groups on Tuesday met to roll out a plan to count trees in the Capital. The move comes 18 years after the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act came into force. One of the mandates of the Act has been census of trees for an effective protection and addition of green cover. But the government has woken up to the need only now.
To begin with, trees will be identified, counted and marked in only a few areas on a pilot basis. A standard protocol will then be prepared for all the involved agencies.
Environment secretary Sanjeev Kumar on Tuesday told Delhi’s chief conservator of forests AK Shukla, parks and gardens society CEO SD Singh, and horticulture directors of land-owning agencies such as DDA, MCDs and NDMC to involve school eco clubs and RWAs in the project.
“We had also invited Suhas Borker of Green Circle and Usha Srinivasan of Development Alternatives for their inputs. Padmawati Dwivedi, who led a group to do a tree census in Sarvodaya Enclave, also made a presentation,” said a senior government official.
The meeting was held after chief minister Sheila Dikshit on October 23 told top government officials to expedite the execution of plans for deconcretisation of trees, their census and extension of tree ambulance facilities from NDMC areas to other parts of Delhi.
“The real challenge is how to validate the data collected by RWAs and eco clubs. We discussed the possibility of using geographic information system (GIS) — which captures, stores, manipulates, analyses, manages, and presents all types of geographical data. Greater clarity will emerge later,” the official said.
“We invited NDMC’s horticulture director as they have done a tree census in their jurisdiction and we wanted to share their experience,” he said.