The divisional forest department will undertake plantation of 78,500 trees on July 11, as per a state government directive. The UP government has planned to undertake plantation of 5 crore trees on the day to set the record for maximum trees planted within 24 hours.
Officials said that the planation drive will be carried out at 6,500 sites throughout the state, including Ghaziabad. The drive will be carried out on roadside, canals and city areas of Ghaziabad.
“The plantation will be done at some open patches in reserved forest areas. Reserved forest sites of Chudiyala, Talheta, Fareed Nagar and Atrauli are already saturated with plantation. Once the drive is completed, all reserved forest areas will be saturated,” BP Singh,divisional forest officer, said.
Ghaziabad district has a reserved forest area of 1608.79 acres — Amhed Nagar Baghpat (107.01 acres), Mohammed Ahmed Baghpat (327.91 acres), Atrauli Khurd (115.87 acre), Chudiyala (723 acres), Fareed Nagar (135 acres) and Talheta (200 acres).
Reserved forest areas are declared by the Centre, following public hearing, survey, under the provisions of Indian Forest Act. Non forest activities are strictly disallowed and the land ownership vests with the forest department.
The proposed plantation drive on July 11 will also compensate the decline in forest cover due to rapid infrastructure expansion. According to the latest ‘Forest and tree resources’ report released last December, there has been a decline of 1 sq km of forest cover in Ghaziabad, compared to the 2013 FSI of 50 sq km.
The 49 sq km area includes 18 sq km of moderately dense forest and 31 sq km of open forest area.
The forest cover, as per FSI survey, includes land of more than one hectare area with a tree canopy density of more than 10%%.
“The decline is due to construction activity near river Hindon. We have written to the FSI to provide us the satellite coordinates where the activity took place and found it near river Hindon at Karhera. Otherwise, there has been no major decline,” Singh said.
However, the major upcoming challenge is the need to fell 22,000 trees for widening of NH-24.