The Delhi government has, for now, decided against phasing out eucalyptus trees in the Capital.
Delhi's tree authority had been mulling over a proposal to phase out the eucalyptus trees from parks and roadsides because of “their attainment of dangerous heights and other adverse impacts.”But the government has now decided against the proposal because of operational issues and difficulties in ensuring the mandatory 10 times afforestation. The authority, however, continues to mull over proposals to plant new species in parks and along roads, while "letting the eucalyptus be."
Once hailed for rapid growth and economic values, eucalyptus is being phased out world over to ensure better biodiversity. Several states, including Karnataka, have banned eucalyptus plantation because of depletion of water table and irreversible erosion of soil fertility.
“At a recent meeting of the tree authority, members of legislative assembly, who are also members of the authority, suggested phasing out of eucalyptus trees. The authority decided that before taking any final decision in this regard, Delhi's additional principal chief conservator of forests would examine the proposal in a small group comprising representatives from local agencies and the Delhi parks and gardens society,” a senior official told Hindustan Times.
Meanwhile, CR Babu, a member of the tree authority, has proposed special species of trees for plantation along roads. "Babu said that he has prepared a list of species suitable for roadside plantation. The authority will discuss his proposal," said a tree authority member.
The authority, set up in 2007 for the protection of trees, has also decided to phase out most of the current roadside plants in the capital with new species.
"Trees should be good for the environment and they must have good aesthetics. I have prepared a list of plants such as Barna and will submit the same to the tree authority," Babu said.
“The authority will in turn circulate the same among various land-owning agencies such as Delhi Development Authority(DDA) and municipal corporations of Delhi for plantation," he added. Regarding Eucalyptus, he said, “This tree hardly serves any purpose and consumes a lot of groundwater.”