The Delhi government has decided to set up a "Tree Bank" to offset the destruction of green cover that is the inevitable fallout of more flyovers, bridges and wider roads.
According to the rules of the forest department, every government department or agency has to plant 10 saplings for every tree it cuts for it. As land is scarce in Delhi, the departments undertaking construction find it difficult to get adequate land to plant trees.
PWD minister AK Walia said the department has asked for 100 hectares of gram sabha land on the outskirts of Delhi to plant trees and create a green cover. More than 100,000 saplings would be planted in the "Tree Bank".
"This would be like a bank of saplings. We would plant the trees and maintain it in lieu of the trees which we cut in due course for projects like flyovers, widening of roads and other construction activities," Walia told the Hindustan Times.
This would also cut down the time taken by the forests department to allow cutting of trees. Walia said for every project, the PWD has to go to the forest department resulting in inordinate delays. The bank could solve the problem. "If we plant 100,000 saplings, we would be able to cut 10,000 trees for infrastructure projects related to the Commonwealth Games," the minister said.