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Updated: January 3, 2010 12:39 IST

Delhi comes third in terms of tree cover

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A view of the India Gate. New Delhi comes third in terms of tree cover, according to a survey. Photo: R.V. Moorthy
The Hindu A view of the India Gate. New Delhi comes third in terms of tree cover, according to a survey. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

The forest cover alone constitutes 11.91 per cent of the total 1483.01 square km geographical area, and comprises 6.76 sq km very dense forest (as against previous nil), 49.84 sq km moderately dense forest, and 119.98 sq km open forest.

Despite pressing needs for land in various developmental projects, the national capital comes third after Lakshwadeep and Chandigarh in terms of percentage of geographical area under tree cover.

“Considering the percentage of geographical area under tree cover, the highest rank goes to Lakshwadeep (12.50 per cent) followed by Chandigarh (9.65 per cent) and Delhi (8.29 per cent),” according to a forest survey, the report of which was released recently.

Daman and Diu ranks fourth at 8.04 per cent while Goa (7.73 per cent) and Kerala (7.21 per cent) come fifth and sixth, the report said, while giving comprehensive details on forest status of the states as in 2007.

Delhi has a total geographical area 1,483.01 sq km of which 123 sq km is under tree cover.

The India State of Forest Report 2009 said while the forest cover increased slightly by 14 sq km, the capital city’s tree cover rose by 16 sq km from 107 sq km to 123 sq km during the two-year period mainly due to extensive plantation carried out by the state government.

Overall, Delhi’s forest and tree cover have increased to 176.58 sq km between 2005 and 2007, thereby constituting 20.2 per cent of the total geographical area of the capital city.

Tree cover comprises patches outside the recorded forest area exclusive of forest cover and less than minimum mappable area (1 hectares). Such small patches comprising block, linear and scattered trees are not delineated as forest cover during interpretation of satellite data.

The forest cover alone constitutes 11.91 per cent of the total 1483.01 square km geographical area, and comprises 6.76 sq km very dense forest (as against previous nil), 49.84 sq km moderately dense forest, and 119.98 sq km open forest.

New Delhi district also known as Lutyens’ Delhi has the highest forest cover at 46.60 per cent of geographical area, followed by South Delhi (31.46 per cent) and South-West Delhi (10.08 per cent).

However, when compared to 2005, there was no change in the green cover status in central, south, west, south-west and New Delhi districts in 2007.

East Delhi has shown a decline of 0.29 sq km because of tree felling needed to pave way for developmental projects.

Tree cover in the country has been estimated to be 92,769 sq km in 2007 which is 2.82 per cent of the geographical area against 91,663 sq km (2.80 per cent) in 2005.

Tree cover constitutes the largest area in Maharashtra (9,466 sq km) followed by Gujarat (8,390 sq km), Rajasthan (8,274 sq km) and Uttar Pradesh (7,381 sq km).

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