The UT administrator approved the Greening Chandigarh Action Plan for 2020-21, with the aim of planting and distribution of 2.55 lakh plants in Chandigarh, adding more than 2,000 plants to previous year’s target.
The 2019-20 Greening Chandigarh Action Plan had a target of plantation of 2.53 lakh trees. The forest department managed to achieve the surplus task by planting and distributing 2.80 lakh plants.
“Administrator VP Singh Badnore approved the plan. In the plan, we are promoting the plantation of medicinal plants along with the indigenous plant species of Chandigarh. We are not going to promote exotic plants. Last time, we reached a surplus target. We also decided to adopt a new way for the distribution of more than five plants to eligible persons, free of cost. If someone requires more than five plants with the condition of having enough space at their place, the plants will be delivered to their doorstep. The plan will be released in June,” said Debendra Dalai, Chief Conservator Forest, Chandigarh.
The 2020-21 plan was prepared by Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF), Abdul Qayum. “In the new plan, we have decided to maintain the record of the particular location where the plantations will take place,” he said.
Sources said the decision for mentioning about the exact place of the plantation was taken as some RTI activists raised the demand of revealing the exact locations of plantations. The indigenous plants of Chandigarh include Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo), Shatoot species (Morus) and the babool species (Acacia arabica and Leucaena leucocephala), Ahoka tree (polyalthia longifolia) Arjuna tree (Terminalia arjuna), Amaltas (Cassia fistula) etc.
In December 2019, the Forest Survey of India (FSI) stated in its annual report that the tree cover of Chandigarh increased by 15 sq km and forest cover increased by 0.47 sq km from 2017 to 2019.
Chandigarh AQI now ‘moderate’
The Chandigarh Air Quality Index (AQI) tumbled down from ‘Good’ to ‘Moderate’ after the curfew was lifted on May 3, easing vehicular movement in the UT. The AQI level of Chandigarh accessed through Continuous Ambit Air Quality Monitoring System (CAAQMS) was 31 on May 4, which is categorised as ‘Good’. On May 22, the AQI level dropped down to 132. AQI level between 0 and 50 considered Good. Between 50 and 100, considered Satisfactory.
“Since May 4 to May 22, AQI levels were reported between 31 and 102, which changed every day. Obviously, when vehicles will move, and construction work in the periphery starts, it makes an impact on the environment. Which is why the AQI levels have risen,” said a senior official with the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines