Delhi: Audit of plantation drives of 3 years in EDMC areas begins

Delhi: 3 Jan, 2022 (Times of India)


New Delhi: The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) has engaged representatives from the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), Pusa, to conduct a third-party survey of plantation drives undertaken in the past three years and assess the survival rate of plants.The step has been taken on the directions of the forest department. The survey will continue till the end of March, an official said.

"Work on the ground started on Tuesday. We have provided details of plantation drives carried out in financial years 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to representatives from the institute. The same information had been submitted to the forest department in the past too," said EDMC horticulture director Raghwendra Singh.

EDMC officials said although the trees' geo-location was not provided in the records, other specifications, such as variety of sapling, its exact location in each colony, park or roadside, and the year of plantation was submitted. "This information is sufficient to identify the trees, their condition, variety and survival status," said the official.

Although the civic bodies submit internal reports on survival of saplings at the end of the financial year, the current survey aims to ascertain the information provided by them.

Singh said the forest department has been directing all the agencies to get the study done since October 2020, but while EDMC initiated correspondence with Pusa institute in January 2021, the task could not be finalised due to the pandemic and other reasons.

"There was an agreement in September-end with IARI's floriculture and landscaping division, after which Rs 4 lakhs was paid to the institute to carry out the survey," said Singh.

Though the areas under EDMC are densely populated, the civic body has been developing mini-forests using the Miyawaki technique for the past year to boost the green cover. "These forests will not be covered in the present survey," said an EDMC official.

Meanwhile, the other civic bodies, including North DMC and SDMC, are also in the process of finalising agencies to conduct the audit.