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City lacks space to compensate lost green cover

Due to lack of empty land for plantation, the district forest department is facing a tough time in carrying out its compensatory afforestation drive, a move which was started to maintain ecological balance following a huge loss of forest land due to rapid urbanisation.

india Updated: May 05, 2011 00:41 IST
Eshani Mathur
Eshani Mathur
Hindustan Times
Hindustantimes

Due to lack of empty land for plantation, the district forest department is facing a tough time in carrying out its compensatory afforestation drive, a move which was started to maintain ecological balance following a huge loss of forest land due to rapid urbanisation.

The department is looking for land in the neighbouring districts such as Mahendergarh and Najafgarh in Delhi for planting saplings in lieu of the trees sacrificed for various developmental projects.

More than 70,000 trees have been chopped off for the widening of NH 8 alone between Delhi and Jaipur since 2002.

Another 5,000 trees were cut for the construction of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway. The 50,000 trees which were to be planted to compensate the expressway construction were planted in a village in Najafgarh in Delhi.

"The ecological balance of Gurgaon is beginning to waver because trees are being cut for development and no trees are being planted to compensate the loss," a senior official in the forest department said.

"Under the Forest Conservation Act, there is a provision that if a land more than one hectare is used for non-forestry purposes the concerned private company is supposed to give an equivalent land for plantation and bear the plantation cost. If land used is less than one hectare then the company is supposed to plant twice as much on a land near the vicinity," KC Meena, conservator, forest department, said.

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