Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022
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Delhi: Audit Of Plantations Shows Animals, Stray Cattle Damaged Plants At Many Sites

Soil and water conservation measures are important to enhance the productivity of the land, recharge the water table and improve the water regime at the plantation sites.

Delhi: Audit Of Plantations Shows Animals, Stray Cattle Damaged Plants At Many Sites
Representational image File photo

An audit of annual sapling plantations conducted in Delhi between 2016 and 2019 has shown wild animals and stray cattle damaged the plants at many sites, and soil and water conservation measures were not adopted at a majority of the places.


The Dehradun-based Forest Research Institute (FRI), which had last year conducted an audit of annual sapling plantations, also said: "records of plantation sites were not presented or shown to survey teams".


"This is a serious problem with respect to monitoring and future implementation of the activities. Only the number of plants, names of the sites and GIS maps were shown," the FRI said in a report submitted to the Delhi forest department.


"At many sites, the plants were found damaged due to wild animals and stray cattle. Measures need to be enhanced to provide protection to the newly planted saplings," the report accessed by PTI read.


It was also found that soil and water conservation measures were "feeble considering the fact that such measures were not adopted at majority of the sites", the FRI stated.


Soil and water conservation measures are important to enhance the productivity of the land, recharge the water table and improve the water regime at the plantation sites.


In the long run, such measures play a significant role in improving the survival rate of plantations by improving productivity and increasing soil moisture content.


"It would be prudent if the soil and water conservation component is compulsorily included in the plantation programmes and annual work plans," the report said.


Although the findings of the plantation audit presented an "encouraging" picture, it was also observed that GIS-based planning was not adopted for taking up plantation and soil and water conservation activities at the sites selected for the plantation.


"With the simple and easy-to-use GIS-based technology, it becomes very easy to map all plantation patches for further review, monitoring and assessment on a regular basis," the report by the Silviculture and Forest Management Division, FRI, said.


The FRI team also raised concerns about the risk of damage to the plantations in the summer season due to fire and said it is necessary to provide forest fire control tools to the field staff in Delhi and train them to handle such emergencies.


"The plants raised on the bank of the Yamuna River are also prone to damage by flood during the rainy season," it said. Around 62 lakh saplings were planted in Delhi during the plantation drives undertaken between 2016 and 2019.


According to the audit report, 72 per cent to 81 per cent of the saplings have survived. The survival rate stood at 80.21 per cent in the North division. In the West division, 78.5 per cent of the saplings survived in the Alipur range and 75.68 per cent in the Najafgarh range. In the South division, the survival rate was 72 per cent in Mehrauli, 76 per cent in Asola Bhatti phase I and 81.33 per cent in phase 2. 

With PTI inputs.

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