With Rs 1.8 crore afforestation fund in its kitty, the Delhi Government has set a target of completing plantation of saplings by this monsoon-end at 52 hectares of land in Aya Nagar in South Delhi.

“In January we got Rs 1.8 crore from the Centre as a first instalment under Campa (the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) fund for compensatory afforestation plantation in the city,” a senior Delhi forest official said.

“Since the money has to be spent within one year of its release, we have set a target date of August-end for plantation,” the official said adding, around 15,000 saplings of various native species are proposed to be planted.

The Campa fund was created in 2004 on the direction of the Supreme Court to ensure that project proponents deposit the net value of diverted forest land with state governments for taking up afforestation and management of forests.

Following a Supreme court order, the Centre has started releasing Rs 11,000 crore in a phased manner in the next five years to states for compensatory afforestation.

The Delhi government has constituted state-level Campa governing body under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit as required under the guidelines in this regard.

As per the apex court order, the Centre has released ten per cent of the total Campa fund collected from the states for diversion of forest land for developmental projects.

Delhi has deposited Rs 18 crore under the fund. The remaining funds due to the state will be released within the next five years in a phased manner; he said adding that a panel to be set up by the Centre as per the court order will also monitor the plantation work at the Aya Nagar.