The Delhi Cabinet at a meeting on Friday approved the ‘Tree Transplantation Policy’ for the preservation of trees in the Capital. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Cabinet also gave its nod for the installation of the second smog tower in the world at Connaught Place within ten months.
A minimum of 80% of trees affected by a development or construction project will be transplanted and as much 80% of the transplanted trees must survive after transplantation, he said.
Mr. Kejriwal also said that the Delhi government will form a panel of agencies for tree transplantation and the government departments concerned will contact these agencies.
“A few days back, the people of Delhi started a huge movement, ‘Yuddh, Pradushan Ke Viruddh’, against the air pollution levels. Various measures will be taken under this, including EV, tree transplantation, and preventing stubble burning. One of the key components of this campaign was the tree transplantation policy,” Mr. Kejriwal said at a digital briefing.
Save and preserve
The woodland of Delhi is very dense and the trees are old and strong because Delhi is quite an old city and the government constantly tries to save and preserve trees but often due to construction and development work trees are cut down, Mr. Kejriwal said.
Until now, he said, the policy entailed planting 10 saplings as a compensatory effort if one tree was supposed to be cut. The tree which was cut could be around 400-500 years old and a symbol of how nature preserved it and nurtured it for so many years and was different from newly planted saplings.
“We have passed the tree transplantation policy. Delhi is the first State in the country where this policy has been passed. Along with retaining the policy of planting 10 saplings for every one tree that is cut, we can transplant trees additionally. The process involves uprooting a tree from a particular spot, lifting it, and planting it at another spot,” the Chief Minister said.
A minimum of 80% of trees affected by a project, he said, over and above compensatory afforestation of planting of 10 saplings, will be transplanted. Also, a minimum of 80% of the transplanted trees should survive and ensuring this would be the responsibility of the agencies that will take permission from us.
The Delhi government will also form a panel of the agencies that excel in the task of transplantation and whichever department wants trees to be transplanted can approach any agency out of the panel that is being formed. The payment of the agencies will be made only if 80% of the trees continue to survive after a year, the Chief Minister said.
A dedicated Tree Transplantation Cell will also be formed by the Delhi government and local committees, which will include government officials, citizens, RWAs to monitor the transplanted trees and to certify that the task has been done with due diligence.
“A smog tower will also be installed in Delhi that will be the second smog tower in the world. The first smog tower in the world was set up in China. Two smog towers are being installed in Delhi, out of which one will be done by the Centre at Anand Vihar and the second by the Delhi government at Connaught Place,” Mr. Kejriwal said.
The technology used in the smog tower installed by the Delhi government, he said, is different from the technology used in China. In China, the smog tower sucks the polluted air from below and releases clean air from above.
“Our smog tower will suck the polluted air from above and release clean air from the bottom. The Delhi Cabinet has sanctioned ₹20 crore for the installation of this first-of-its-kind smog tower, and we hope that the installation work will be completed within the next 10 months. We are calling it a pilot project for now, and if it is successful, many more smog towers will be installed across Delhi,” the Chief Minister also said.