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Forest cover up by 1%, says Javadekar

Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar.

Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Minister for Environment Prakash Javadekar on Friday told the Lok Sabha that India’s forest cover was up by 1% in the last one year, while former Minister and his own party’s MP Maneka Gandhi disputed the fact, cautioning him that satellite imagery could be misleading, with sugar cane crops being mistaken for trees.

Responding to supplementaries during Question Hour, Mr. Javadekar said for one tree chopped for development work, three to four were planted either in the same area or elsewhere.

Responding to Ms. Gandhi, he said satellite imagery was taken at regular intervals and it was unlikely that sugar cane crops were counted as such.

According to a latest report, over 24.39% of the country’s geographical area now constitutes of green cover. He said 125 crore trees would be planted along highways to increase green cover.

The Minister, in response to a separate question, said the government did not agree with a private weather agency’s report on climate change that 11 out of 15 hottest places in the world are from India. Mr. Javadekar was responding to BJP MP Jagdambika Pal’s questions, stating that the government did not agree with the findings of the agency, El Dorado Weather, and the data on its website vary every day. “The report of hottest places — 11 out of 15 hottest places in the world are from India — is based on a newspaper article quoting a private weather forecasting agency El Dorado Weather. The agency in its webpage reports the 15 places with maximum temperature of the last 24 hours on a daily basis and the hottest places vary each day. The government does not agree to the findings,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 3:19:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/forest-cover-up-by-1-javadekar/article28103074.ece

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