This monsoon, Delhiites will make way for more green cover for the city by planting one million saplings across the Capital.
Chief minister Sheila Dikshit, along with a group of schoolchildren, on Saturday started this ambitious drive by planting the first batch of saplings. They also planted seeds for 2,500 trees on one hectare of land along a Ring Road.
The target is to bring 33% of the city under green cover. The saplings will all grow to be large trees with canopies. The stress is being given on spaces available along busy roads.
“Once the trees grow, the roads and public areas will have a soothing feel for the pedestrians and motorists. Delhi will remain the greenest national Capital in the world,” Diskhit said after launching the plantation drive.
To make this drive popular, the Delhi government has launched campaigns on TV, radio and social media websites so that individuals as well as institutions like residents’ welfare societies, housing societies, clubs and the like come forward to participate.
Advertisements carrying messages delivered by Dikshit are being aired on TV and radio channels.
“One area of the plantation that will be given much emphasis is the survival of the saplings. Every year we see that the mortality rate of the saplings are high due to damage, adverse weather and lack of care. The chief minister has asked us to emphasise on the survival,” said a senior forest department official.
Delhi’s green area during last 10 years has increased from 26 sq km to more than 300 sq km. This time the plantation campaign has been meticulously planned and all government offices, Delhi Metro, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Council, Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Transport Corporation depots, non-governmental organisations and public sector undertakings are being involved in this effort.
The strip along the service lane of the Ring Road Bypass is being planted with ornamental tree species such lagerstroemia, amltash, gulmohar, yellow bamboo and shishm is 1.2 km in length and 8-metre wide, covering approximately one hectare. The species have been selected considering their suitability to the site and adding aesthetic value to the road, which is now the lifeline connecting ITO with ISBT.
During the one-and-a-half-month-long campaign, Delhi government will assist organisations which come forward to participate in this exercise. The government has decided to provide free saplings across Delhi.