Gurgaon: MCG to number trees to ensure adequate green cover
The development comes weeks after environmentalists informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that Haryana is at the risk of losing 70% of its green cover due to construction activities, engineering projects and tree felling.gurgaon Updated: Apr 13, 2017 23:58 IST
The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) is creating a database of trees in the city by numbering them to ensure that adequate green cover is maintained.
The development comes weeks after environmentalists informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that Haryana is at the risk of losing 70% of its green cover due to construction activities, engineering projects and tree felling. Haryana has the second lowest forest cover in the country after Punjab. According to the Forest Report 2015, issued by the Forest Survey of India, Haryana’s cover is only 3.58%.
As per the data available with the forest department, more than 8,000 trees were felled in Gurgaon last year, a three-year high.
As many as 1,430 trees were felled in 2015, 1,604 trees in 2014 and 1,657 trees in 2013.
MCG officials said they will number trees in each of their four zones and put up a signage to identify the type of tree and its number.
“Major construction and expansion work is being carried out in the city and it was felt that a count will help MCG in maintaining the city’s green belt. Hence, a database is being created to ensure that, by the end of each year, the number of trees is not lower than the last count and is constantly on the rise,” SS Rohilla, spokesperson for MCG said.
Green activists warned that the prevalent practice of tree felling in the city will lead to several problems unless its conservation is taken seriously.
“Tree felling has been a major reason for the city’s diminishing green cover. The city is not witnessing any plantation drive in urban areas, which is leading to high level of air pollution, besides damaging the ecological balance,” Jitender Bhadana, of Save Aravalli, an NGO, said.
As per the norms, whenever trees are felled, plantation of saplings, equivalent to ten times the number of trees felled, is to be done.
MD Sinha, the conservator of forest, South Haryana, said that though the norms for replanting are in place, it is rarely followed.
“The forest department has to approve tree felling for all development projects. The department can only request the public bodies to plant 10 times the tree loss. Since the department does not have the power to take legal action against public bodies, violation (not planting saplings) is the norm,” Sinha said.