New Delhi: Despite the efforts, the green cover belt of the national capital is still far behind the stipulated norms.
Under the National Forest Policy all the states, metropolitans and smaller cities are required to have one-third of their entire area as green cover belt to maintain the balance in ecosystem.
The total area of Delhi is 1483 sq km and under the National Forest Policy around 490 sq km area of the national capital should be under the green cover belt. Delhi is still far from the target, as the green cover area is only 299.58 sq km. Despite having a 20.20 per cent green cover belt, Delhi has a bigger forest area when compared to other metropolitan cities of the country. 33,000 trees had been axed down for the preparation of Commonwealth Games (CWG).
According to norms, an agency has to plant 10 saplings for chopping down a tree. The norms is only restricted to official files, whereas the saplings are no where visible on the ground reality.
The densely populated area of Delhi, the Trans Yamuna area has the minimal number of trees. According to government data, two districts in Trans Yamuna have only 8 per cent area under green belt, while other areas have 21 to 40 percent land as green cover zone.
Government has no plan to boost the green belt in East Delhi, while Lutyen zone has 41.66 per cent greenery.
The Forest Department of Delhi government had prepared a data in this regard in 1993 through information transmitted by satellite. In 1993, Delhi had only 1.48 per cent (22km) area under the green cover belt. Thereafter, the government started a large scale campaign to increase the green cover area of Delhi with the help of government bodies and Non Government Organizations.