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Issue 20
, 2009
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Green cover touches record high

Source: : The Times of India, New Delhi, Date: , 2009

Delhi is going green, and not with envy! The city's green cover reached the 20.20% mark in 2007, the area under tree and forest cover having reached 299.58 sq km. The India State of Forest Report 2009 released by Forest Survey of India has also indicated that the city, for the first time, has some of its area under `dense forest'. According to the data analysed in the report based on satellite imagery till 2007, the area under tree and forest cover has gone up by 16.58 sq km. The last report was released in 2007, based on data till 2004. "While the forest cover has shown an increase, it's still less than what was expected. From 176.44 sq km in the last report, the cover has increased by only .14 sq km to 176.58 sq km. This forms 11.91% of Delhi's geographical area. The New Delhi district is the greenest part of Delhi with 46.6% of its geographical area under forest cover. South Delhi is second with 31.46%, followed by southwest Delhi with 10.08% forest cover.

The tree cover, excluding forest area, is 123 sq km or 8.29% of Delhi's geographical area. This is up by 16 sq km since the last report. However, environmentalists are skeptical about what the next report may throw up since a lot of the city's tree cover has been sacrificed to development projects. "The Commonwealth Games itself has eaten up several hundreds of trees, many of which have not been replanted. While the forests that the government is planting are still young and at the periphery of the city, the green tree cover that we had within the city has diminished considerably,'' said an environmentalist.