Forest dept to plant only 2.5 lakh saplings this year | india | Hindustan Times
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Forest dept to plant only 2.5 lakh saplings this year

The forest department, which had a tough time planting five lakh saplings in the district last year, has reduced the target for the current year to 2.5 lakh.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2012 02:13 IST
Divya Sethi

The forest department, which had a tough time planting five lakh saplings in the district last year, has reduced the target for the current year to 2.5 lakh.

In a special campaign to make the city green, the forest department had decided to plant five lakh saplings in the district last year.

These saplings were supposed to be planted in different areas of the district with the help of other government departments.

But the forest department could not even touch 50% of the target.

Some government departments did not even turn up to collect the saplings from the forest department.

However, the forest department has a different reason to support its reduced target for this year.

SS Dahiya, division forest officer, said, “We have no problem in having high targets. But with rapid urbanisation, there are few places where saplings could be planted. So we decided to cut down our target.”

Over the years, the city’s infrastructure plan has sacrificed a lot of green cover. According to the department, the number of trees in Gurgaon has fallen from three lakh in 1999 to 1,32,000 in 2011.

Forest land has also been reduced by 240 hectares to 9,268 hectares.

Vivek Kamboj, an environmentalist who runs NGO ‘Haryali’, said, “It is really sad that the department has reduced the target. I would say that if they want to touch this target they should implement the project whole heartedly to save the environment.”

Residents are doubtful if the department will be able to achieve this target to make the city green and beautiful.

“Last year, the authorities could not achieve the target of planting five lakh saplings in the different parts of the district. They have reduced the target for this year. But planting even 2.5 lakh saplings will not be an easy task,” said a resident.