Ghaziabad officials come up with plan to revive tree cover, groundwater level
According to the 2015 ‘Forest and tree resources’ report released by the Forest Survey of India (FSI), there has been a decline of 1 square kilometre (sq km) in the forest cover in Ghaziabad as compared to the previous 2013 FSI survey when it stood at 50 sq km.noida Updated: Jun 17, 2017 22:04 IST
To make most of the monsoon season, the district administration has formed a three-pronged strategy to recharge ground water levels and spruce up the green cover. The strategy involves additional plantation, rainwater harvesting units and revival of ponds.
The district magistrate (DM) on Saturday said the administration and other departments will plant 50,000 to 1 lakh trees at a vacant patch behind the Mahamaya Stadium complex. The patch was earlier covered with thick tree cover but sewage from a nearby drain destroyed thousands of trees around 2008-09.
“This tree plantation will be apart from the annual target set by the state administration to the forest department. This is being done on the divisional commissioner’s directions. On the drain, the corporation officials said that they will clear the blockade that causes sewage overflow in the green area,” said Ministhy S, Ghaziabad DM.
According to the 2015 ‘Forest and tree resources’ report released by the Forest Survey of India (FSI), there has been a decline of 1 square kilometre (sq km) in the forest cover in Ghaziabad as compared to the previous 2013 FSI survey when it stood at 50 sq km.
‘Forest cover,’ as per the FSI survey, includes all land, more than one hectare in area, with a tree canopy density of more than 10 percent. Such land may not be statutorily notified as forest area.
Further, to aid the falling ground water level, district officials plan 20 rain water harvesting units within one month.
“There will be special workshops on ways to increase the ground water level. We appeal to RWAs to come up and propose areas where rainwater harvesting units can be installed. They should get their units functional before the monsoon season,” she added.
As per the 2011 ground water resource assessment, the district has four development blocks of Loni, Rajapur, Bhojpur and Murad Nagar. Apart from Murad Nagar, the other blocks have already moved to overexploited category.
“We have directed to the sub divisional magistrates concerned to crack down on illegal water extraction units. Such units extracting and selling groundwater will be shut down. Apart from this, we plan to crack down on land mafias encroaching and selling land to poor people. We will ensure the victims are not harassed,” the DM, said.
To safeguard the freed-up ponds, officials sought a group of five volunteers to ensure encroachers are kept at bay.
The administration has already given the responsibility to revive 100 ponds to different government departments and the work is to be done by June 30. Apart from the 100 ponds, the Ghaziabad municipal corporation is also entrusted the task of reviving 40 ponds in its jurisdiction.