New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said the city’s green cover has to be increased from the existing 23 per cent to 25 per cent in the coming years to make the national capital world’s greenest and cleanest city. CM Kejriwal attended a Van Mahotsav where Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena was the chief guest. He said this year, more than 1 crore saplings will be planted across the city, adding that 27.5 lakh saplings have already been planted.
Mr Saxena said the chief minister’s observations need to be implemented and the green cover of the city be enhanced from 23 per cent to 25 per cent in the next two years.
The LG said he has asked for planting of saplings at police stations and other premises of Delhi Police to increase the green cover of the city. A bonhomie was visible between Mr Saxena and CM Kejriwal, the two constitutional figures at loggerheads over governance-related issues in Delhi.
I am very happy that the honourable chief minister is present among us in this programme, Mr Saxena said in his address.
CM Kejriwal returned the pleasantries in a tweet addressed to the LG,
It was great participating in Van Mahotsav with u Sir. Delhi plants 5.5 lakh trees today with our target of more than 1 cr trees/shrubs this year. Together, all of us will achieve that target.
Last year’s Van Mahotsav programme at Asola Bhati Mines sanctuary was marred with controversy over the poster of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the programme venue. The programme, held in July last year, was not attended by CM Kejriwal and his party had accused the Centre and the LG of ‘hijacking’ the event organised by the Delhi government’s forest department.
At 23 per cent, Delhi’s green cover is higher than cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru as well as London and New York, the chief minister said.
This is a matter of happiness and encouragement for us. But we cannot sit idle and it should be increased further. After one to two years, it should be up to 25 per cent and further 27 per cent, he said.
CM Kejriwal cautioned that if we sit idle and are satisfied with the 23 per cent green cover, it will reduce to 21 per cent and further to 19 per cent.
We cannot let it (Delhi’s green cover) reduce. We need to increase it, he said.
The chief minister also observed that world over, expansion of cities has impacted their respective green covers, but despite fast growth in Delhi, its green cover has increased. He also mentioned the air pollution problem of the city, saying the air quality has improved since 2015 with more clean air days now.
Since 2015 to present year, pollution in Delhi has declined by 30 per cent and the ‘clean air days’ numbers have gone up to 163 days this year, he said.
The chief minister also urged people to strive for making Delhi the world’s greenest and cleanest city. During the Van Mahotsav event held at Asola Bhati Mines wildlife sanctuary, 5.5 lakh saplings were planted. Accompanied by the chief minister, the Lt Governor planted saplings at the sanctuary where a ‘Tapovan’, ‘Nakshatra Van’ and a ‘Raashi Van’ of medicinal and other religiously sacred plants will be grown on a 25 acre plot.
Mr Saxena said other than planting traditional varieties of saplings, there should not be any hesitation in experimenting with other plants and trees, and cited his initiative of growing bamboo at Baansera, and saplings of Cherry and Chinar in the city.
He said the central government has emphasised to cover 1 crore hectare of land with trees and plants under the National Mission for Green India.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diarrhoea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.