World Environment Day: Delhi govt launches green action plan for city
Under the plan, more than 35 lakh samplings will be planted in the Capital this year, with the drive to officially begin next month.
World Environment Day was celebrated across the capital on Sunday, which saw the Delhi government launch its ‘Green Action Plan for Delhi’ -- one which aims to make Delhi greener and cleaner. The campaign was launched by Delhi’s environment minister Gopal Rai, who celebrated the event with around 2,500 school children at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, also felicitating Delhi’s 20 best eco-clubs. Meanwhile, Delhi LG V.K Saxena celebrated World Environment day at Delhi Development Authority’s Yamuna Biodiversity Park in north Delhi, followed by visits of a sewage treatment plant (STP) in Nehru Park in Chanakyapuri and a Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) site in the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) area.
Delhi’s Green Action Plan consists of planting over 35 lakh saplings across Delhi this year, with the plantation drive to officially begin next month. Out of these, around 7 lakh saplings will be distributed free of cost. Rai said agencies will also be required to carry out a third-party audit to check the survival rate of these saplings, stating under the Green Action Plan, a roadmap will be prepared for the quality of plantation, soil moisture conservation and outreach and education among people in regards to protection of environment.
“Earth is our mother, and the Delhi Government, led by the Chief Minister, is doing everything possible to save and improve our mother nature. Working better in this direction, the Delhi government first converted buses to CNG, and now electric buses are also on the roads of the city. Furthermore, as a result of the ongoing tree plantation campaign in Delhi, where the green area in the city was 20% in 2013, the government’s efforts have increased it to 23.06% in 2021. In addition, Delhi has surpassed all other cities in the country in terms of per capita forest cover,” said Rai on Sunday, stating the government was also pursuing urban farming to add to Delhi’s green cover, while around 10,000 ‘world-class’ parks were already being developed under the ‘Green Park Green Delhi campaign’.
Children from across different eco-clubs also took an oath to be more environmentally conscious, which includes preferring public transport over private vehicles, refusal to use plastic, segregating waste, planting more saplings and saving on electricity consumption by switching off appliances whenever possible.
LG looks at water conservation efforts
Delhi LG V.K Saxena celebrated World Environment Day at the Yamuna Biodiversity park in north Delhi, visiting the different ecological systems inside, including medicinal gardens, herbal parks, butterfly parks and its wetlands. Saxena suggested park authorities to undertakes plantation of sandalwood and moringa trees, apart from Bamboo, stating not only will this help add more to the oxygen being generated, but also add to the financial capacity of these parks.
He further suggested using the water conserved at the water bodies in helping Delhi’s water supply. “The LG also emphasized upon the need to explore the possibility of using the water conserved and recharged by the parks for augmenting the supply to the city with the aim of making Delhi self-sufficient,” said an official from the LG house.
Saxena underlined that environmental degradation and its resultant catastrophic affects are not topics of academic discussion anymore, stating action was required on the ground.
“Climate change, water shortage, pollution, unseemly mounds of garbage and the plummeting ground water levels -- all of these are there for us to experience first-hand as residents of Delhi. We have to take urgent steps to reclaim and rebuild what we have already lost in our mindless pursuit of lopsided consumption and development. To plan for the future and simultaneously rejuvenate what we have lost already is imperative and for this, all of us will have to come together and work in a committed and concerted manner,” Saxena said.
During the biodiversity park inspection, which also included Delhi’s chief secretary and the DDA VC, the LG described groundwater recharge through conservation of rain, flood and storm water drains with an aim to make Delhi self-sufficient for its water requirements, as his priority.