New Delhi: The plan to increase the green cover belt in the national capital suffered a major jolt as the state government of Delhi has steeply lowered the plantation targets given to various government agencies involved in the process. 

Prior to each monsoon, Delhi government has been instructing the different government agencies to plant around 11 to 13 lakh sapling. However, in an unprecedented move this year, the government has reduced the target given to Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and 16 other government agencies to a mere 6.71 lakh saplings. 

With the Delhi government’s role in Commonwealth Games (CWG) being under scanner, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit could not preside over the meeting for the plantation drive. Departmental officials maintained that no changes were made in the reports submitted by the various government agencies in April 2011 for their targets in the plantation drive.

The previous meetings presided over by the CM witnessed a bigger plantation target to the government agencies.
This year Delhi government’s Forest Department on May 19 ordered the agencies to plant 6.71 lakh trees under the Green Delhi Action Plan.

Some departments in their report stated that they did not have any further space to plant saplings. These departments also claimed that the saplings required for the plantation were not available in the government nurseries.

For 2011, DDA, Eco Task Force and MCD have been entrusted with the task of planting 1.5 lakh saplings each. Whereas, other agencies have to plant 20-25 thousand saplings each in different city areas.

Airport Authority of India (AAI), Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and Indraprastha Gas Company Limited are among the government departments which have planted the minimum number of saplings. Delhi government has ordered them to plant 500 trees each before the start of Monsoon season. They will have to summit status report to the government on the fifth of every month.