Question asked in Rajya Sabha on 10/03/2006 by SHRI B.J. PANDA

Relevant to MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS
Subject: LOSS OF GREEN COVER IN DELHI

Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS be pleased to state:
(a) whether it is a fact that the Ridge in Delhi is losing its green cover with heavy traffic flow and illegal constructions as per study;
(b) if so, the salient features of the inspection records available with the Ridge Management Board (RMB) in this regard; and
(c) what is the action plan of Government to address this issue?

Answered by SHRI NAMO NARAIN MEENA of MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS.

(a) A recent study conducted by the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun has indicated degradation of forest cover in several parts of the Ridge due to various activities such as construction of buildings and roads and dumping of debris, etc. However, Ridge Management Board (RMB) has taken cognizance of some activities which do not blend with the surroundings. Ridge Management Board has issued directions to concerned land owning agencies for discontinuing such activities.

(b) Inspection records of Ridge Management Board (RMB) indicate that land owning agencies like Central Public Works Department, Delhi Development Authority, etc. have constructed structures and pathways. Evidence of debris dumping in the Ridge area has also been noticed.

(c) To check degradation of forest cover of the Ridge, the RMB has directed all the land owning agencies to take following measures:

(i) No constructions in the Ridge area.
(ii) Abandoning of all roads except the lanes essential for protection and maintenance of the Ridge.
(iii) Ridge not to be used as thoroughfare.
(iv) Planting of only native species in the Ridge area.
(v) Repairs and strengthening of fencing of Ridge area.
(vi) No dumping of garbage and debris.
(vii) Eviction of encroachments.
(viii) Demarcation of Southern Ridge.