Delhi forest dept orders 400k plastic pots to plant flowers, experts quiz move
‘Different agencies in Delhi have been asked to carry out beautification and greening works as part of the G20 summit. We have also been asked to do the same and this procurement is part of the city-wide beautification,’ said a forest department official.
Delhi’s forest and wildlife department issued a tender for procuring 400,000 pots made of Grade-I virgin plastic, which will be used for planting foliage and flowering plants in central Delhi as part of G20 summit preparations, at a cost of ₹21 crore. However, the government has not decided where to place the potted plants, officials said.
A forest department official from central division said a decision will be taken on where to place the pots after they are procured. The government will decide which stretches in central Delhi require greening and beautification, and then place the pots there, the official added.
“Different agencies in Delhi have been asked to carry out beautification and greening works as part of the G20 summit. We, too, have been asked to do the same and this procurement is part of the city-wide beautification. Once procured, we will decide where to use these pots,” the official added.
The order has also invited criticism from activists, who appealed to the government to use earthen or clay pots instead.
“While we are trying to reduce plastic pollution, we are also ordering 400,000 plastic pots that can only be recycled once. However, earthen pots are sustainable and biodegradable,” said Bhavreen Kandhari, an environmental activist.
Bharati Chaturvedi, founder and director of Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, a waste management NGO in Delhi, said Delhi yet to notify its plastic bylaws. “Had we opted for earthen pots, we could have created employment for hundreds of potters in Delhi who could also have used this opportunity to showcase their talent to the world,” she said.
The Delhi government did not respond to queries on why plastic pots were being procured.
According to the tender, which was issued on January 7, the last date for submission of bids is January 18.
“An e-tender has been invited for the supply of four lakh pots of small, medium and large size in white colour, made of virgin plastic CP (Grade-I) for planting foliage plants and flowering plants. This is for making necessary arrangements during the G20 summit 2023 at various sites...,” said the order.
The forest department is likely to use native saplings of trees and shrubs from government nurseries. The Delhi government has 14 nurseries where saplings are distributed free-of-cost. However, no decision has been taken on which saplings will be used, the forest official said.