HC seeks details of actual forest area from Delhi government

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought from the city government details of the actual forest area in the capital.

A bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva asked the city government to file details of the actual forest area after the court was informed that the extent of green cover as shown on paper was not actually there due to encroachment.

The bench also asked the Delhi government what was it doing to maintain the current green cover as well as to increase it to 30 percent as required under the master plan 2021.

The court had taken suo motu cognizance over the increasing pollution in the city.

During the hearing, the bench observed that a major polluter in the city was particulate matter from building material and ‘malba’ (rubble) left lying around.

It said that increase in green area would result in less dust flying around and more rain.

The bench made the observation after the additional principal chief conservator of forests, who was present in court pursuant to its order, said that as per the forest department records, Delhi has green cover of 20.8 percent.

“Delhi has 20.8 percent green cover. A little more than half of it is notified forest. For a urban hub, this is commendable. Delhi is the third greenest capital in the country (after that of Lakshwadeep and Andaman),” he said.

The officer, however, admitted that the forest areas were being encroached and also said that till the boundaries of such land are not finally demarcated, it would be difficult to take any action.

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