Newly-inducted Environ-ment Minister Imran Hussein, on Thursday, announced that the Delhi government will hand over the task of conducting a tree census in the capital to a third party. While this will be the first tree census conducted by the Delhi government, government officials said, that the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) had conducted a similar census within its jurisdiction earlier.
“The impartial census will help the government arrive at a factual figure for the number of trees in Delhi, on the basis of which the environment ministry will decide its future course of action on improving the green cover in the city,” government officials said.
The nitty-gritties of the appointment of third parties are yet to be worked out, a government official said. “The process may be slow but it will be transparent and we will appoint someone who is capable of carrying out the exercise and will also be cost-effective,” a government official said.
The minister held a review meeting of the major greening agencies in Delhi to take stock of the special plantation drive undertaken by them. Senior officers of Horticulture Wings of DDA, NDMC, three municipal corporations and the Delhi Jal Board, besides officers from Environment and Forest Department attended the meeting.
Hussein said that while planting trees was essential for increasing the green cover of the city and combatting air pollution, ensuring survival of the saplings planted was just as important.
The minister also directed the greening agencies to carry out a tree audit by a third party and a tree census to ascertain the total tree cover available. Hussain said a review meeting regarding status of the plantation drive, census and tree audit would be convened in a month.