Dwindling forests

Published: Friday 15 May 1998

  Delhi is gradually losing fo delhi 's forests are shrinking at an alarming speed. The ridge is depleting at the rate of one per cent every year, reports Vatavaran , a Delhi-based non-governmental organisation. There has been no reforestation in encroached areas which have been cleared. Nearly 60 per cent of the encroached land has been cleared, according to Iqbal Malik, director of Vatavaran .

As per international standards, nearly 20 per cent of the total land area of a country should be covered with forests. There is an inverse relationship between vehicular traffic and the ridge. While the area under the ridge has decreased eight times, the number of vehicles have gone up eight times.

The report further states that 145 hectares (ha) of the 864 ha of the central ridge, are occupied by 16 schools, 10 petrol stations and other structures including the Talkatora stadium. Similarly, in the south central ridge, 150 ha of the 626 ha are occupied by buildings. Besides 1,106 ha of the ridge have been leased out to government authorities. To worsen the problem, the greening efforts of the six agencies entrusted with the task is also insufficient.

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