GDA takes up major drive, plants 51,000 trees in a day | noida | Hindustan Times
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GDA takes up major drive, plants 51,000 trees in a day

The Schools, National Disaster Response Force team, Indirapuram RWAs, individuals and environmentalists participated in the initiative meant to increase the green cover and thus, reduce pollution.

noida Updated: Jul 09, 2017 23:27 IST
HT Correspondent
Residents participate in a plantation drive launched by Ghaziabad Development Authority on Sunday.
Residents participate in a plantation drive launched by Ghaziabad Development Authority on Sunday.(Sakib Ali/ HT Photo)

The Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) on Sunday initiated a major plantation drive, in which around 51,000 trees were planted in a single day.

The authority roped in institutions, associations, RWAs and environmentalists to help undertake plantation of different varieties of flora across the city.

GDA vice chairperson Kanchan Verma kickstarted the drive from a green belt in Kavi Nagar, which was recently reclaimed by the authority from encroachment. The green belt is being developed with non-concretised footpaths and walkways for residents. It will also get a fence for protection of trees.

“By Sunday evening, we surpassed the target of planting 51,000 trees at around 32 different locations. The plants included Hibiscus, Calliandra, Neem, Kadamba, Gulmohar, Asoka, Pilkhan, Jamun and Peepal. The drive will help us increase the green cover, which will help in reducing pollution,” said SP Sisodia, GDA’s horticulture officer.

Trees were planted at Hapur Chungi to Vivekanand Nagar, Kanawani, Indirapuram, Madhuban Bapudham, Raj Nagar, Rajendra Nagar, Karhera and Pratap Vihar, among others.

“We roped in 22 different agencies like schools, National Disaster Response Force, Indirapuram RWAs, individuals and environmentalists. We provided them the trees, and they in turn helped in making the drive a big success,” Sisodia said.

However, the maintenance of trees afterwards is a big issue, admit agencies who undertake such drives.

According to Forest Survey of India’s (FSI) State of Forest Report, Ghaziabad district is spread over a geographical area of 2,590 square kilometres. Its forest cover stood at 116 sqkm in 2001, which has now declined to 49 sqkm as per the 2015 FSI report.

According to the 2015 ‘Forest and Tree Resources’ report by FSI, there has been a decline of one square kilometre of forest cover in Ghaziabad as compared to its 2013 survey, when the forest cover stood at 50 sqkm.

“The plantation should be maintained and taken care of. This will help in reducing pollution. In our area in Delhi, different RWAs and residents are taking care of the plantation drive. It is heartening to see such a big drive taken up in Ghaziabad. After plantation, citizens should adopt trees and take care of them till they grow,” said Preeti Bhaskar, Mrs India Earth (Intelligence) 2016, who arrived from Delhi to take part in the intiative.

“More such drives are needed during the monsoon season. We urge the residents to render their active participation and plant more trees,” said Akash Vashishtha, an environmentalist.

The drive also saw participation from school children and youngsters. “We study about environment in school. I arrived here to do my bit for the environment by planting trees,” said Diwas Sati from DPS, Raj Nagar.