No land for growing trees, revise plantation norms: DDA tells Delhi govt | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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No land for growing trees, revise plantation norms: DDA tells Delhi govt

ByRisha Chitlangia
May 12, 2022 01:03 AM IST

DDA vice-chairman Manish Kumar Gupta requested Delhi government to look into the matter and revise the guidelines for the number of trees to be planted under the compensatory plantation scheme from 10 saplings to 2 for every tree that is cut.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has again requested the Delhi government to revise its compensatory plantation norms—10 saplings have to be planted for every tree that is cut—under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994, as it is struggling to provide stakeholders with land for plantation in the Capital. In September 2020, the DDA had sent a similar request to the Delhi government, but to no avail.

DDA officials said they are also struggling to provide land for compensatory afforestation.
DDA officials said they are also struggling to provide land for compensatory afforestation.

In a letter dated May 10, 2022, DDA vice-chairman Manish Kumar Gupta requested Delhi government’s chief secretary Naresh Kumar to look into the matter and revise the guidelines for the number of trees to be planted under the compensatory plantation scheme from 10 saplings to two for every tree that is cut.

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“It is to submit that most of the recreational green areas identified under Master Plan and dense green areas (are) saturated with plantations, and there is no area available for further compensatory plantation. Furthermore, over the past couple of decades there has been no fresh acquisition by DDA and it has become very difficult to meet the requirement received from various agencies for the allocation of land for the purpose of compensatory plantation,” Gupta wrote.

“It is once again requested to kindly consider revising the current guidelines for compensatory plantation from 1:10 to 1:2 as it may not be now possible for DDA to allot land, which may adversely affect upcoming infrastructure projects in Delhi,” Gupta added.

A spokesperson for the Delhi government did not respond to calls or messages seeking comment.

DDA officials said they are also struggling to provide land for compensatory afforestation. In March, the DDA wrote to the Union environment ministry seeking permission to carry out compensatory afforestation in neighbouring states. It had already written to the ministry regarding the issue last year.

“We have requested the ministry to relax the implementation of the provisions of the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, so that Delhi can be allowed to carry out compensatory afforestation in other states. We are finding it difficult to meet the requirement for compensatory afforestation and plantation both,” said a DDA official, requesting anonymity.

A senior DDA official said the agency has also sought permission for compensatory afforestation on degraded land (forest areas that have lost tree cover and function) in other states in lieu of trees felled for central government/public sector undertaking projects.

Padmavati Dwivedi, a tree activist, said, “The challenge of land for compensatory plantation needs brainstorming from all stakeholders. It is a serious bottleneck. There are multiple issues that need to be addressed before making any hasty changes to the Act. All the land-owning agencies must make areas that used to have trees but are now encroached upon available for planting. It needs a lot of collaborative efforts for the city’s future.”

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