The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has written to the Union Environment Ministry seeking permission for compensatory afforestation (CA) for all projects undertaken in the city in neighboring states due to lack of land in the national capital.
The landownership body said the ministry should at least relax guidelines issued under the Forest Conservation Act to allow compensatory afforestation for projects implemented in degraded forest lands in central and public sector enterprises (PSUs) in neighboring states.
In its letter to the Ministry, the DDA quoted Section 2.3 (v) of Chapter 2 of the Handbook of Forest Conservation Act, which states: Not found where forest change is proposed, land for CA may be identified in another state / UT, especially in a neighboring state / UT. ” “It is proposed that Section 2.3 (v) of the guidelines issued by the Ministry may be relaxed for Delhi in general and CA may be granted in neighboring states,” the DDA read in a letter to the Ministry.
According to the guidelines issued under the Forest Conservation Act, compensatory afforestation is equivalent to the area proposed for diversion on suitable non-forest land, at the expense of the user organization. In the case of projects implemented by the Center or PSU, compensatory afforestation can also be done on eroded land, which is twice as extensive as forest.
“The ministry may consider giving permission to the CA for projects implemented by the central government / PSU in degraded forests in neighboring states of Delhi,” the DDA said.
A senior DDA official said that under the Delhi Master Plan, it was decided to set aside 15 per cent area for recreational land use, under which all parks, green belts and forests would be maintained.
“In contrast to the 15 per cent area earmarked for recreational green use, the total forest and tree cover in the capital is now over 23 per cent, according to the latest state forest report published by the Forest Survey of India, Dehradun,” he said.
“Most of the recreational green areas identified under the master plan are already full of trees,” he said. Other vacant land parcels available in small patches are required for the basic developmental needs of the citizens of Delhi, ”read the DDA letter.
“No land has been acquired in Delhi since 1990. DDA now finds it very difficult to meet the land requirement for CA in the green zone identified under the master plan. Maybe, which could adversely affect the upcoming projects in Delhi, ”it said.
The DDA recently asked the Delhi Forest Department to revise the guidelines for the compensatory tree planting scheme and reduce the number of plantings for each tree cut down from 10 to two due to lack of land. However, that request has been denied.