THE UT Forest department has adopted a four-step strategy to improve the green cover and Air Quality Index of Chandigarh. The strategy includes covering all plain space with grass, plantation etc, adopting technique of curbing soil erosion, developing techniques to avoid maximum vehicular chaos, jams etc with the assistance of engineering wing, and focusing on the Index biodiversity by planting medicinal and indigenous species.
The UT forest department has already stopped the plantation of eucalyptus trees in Chandigarh.
As per the Forest Survey of India-2019 report, the green cover of Chandigarh is 46 per cent, almost 13 per cent more
than the target for every state and UT.
“The motive behind covering the open space adjoining roads with grass is to reduce dust, which is one of the components of air pollution. The indigenous species of plants of our area grow quickly, and don’t require much attention. All plantation under the compensatory forest plantation, which is being done after felling of trees, is focused on indigenous plants,” said Deputy Chief Conservator of Forest, Abdul Qayum.
“When old eucalyptus trees are chopped, the forest department does not plant the same species of tree. The department plants indigenous species. The Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change has been stressing on indigenous species in accordance with the climate of the area,” said sources.
In Chandigarh, certain roads were earmarked for the plantation of specific plants, including Amaltas, Babool, Ashoka tree etc.
The responsibility of plantation in the city rests on the Municipal Corporation and the UT forest department. Sector 38 to Sector 56, reserved forest areas, nurseries, Botanical Garden along with a few parks fall under the purview of the forest department, while the remaining area comes under the MC’s horticulture wing.
The 2019-20 Greening Chandigarh Action Plan had a target of plantation of 2.53 lakh and the forest department achieved the surplus task by planting and distributing 2.80 lakh plants. Chandigarh is also among the 112 Indian cities identified as Non-Attainment Cities for not meeting the prescribed standards of air quality.
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