Green Wall to Firewall Delhi against Dust-Storms

The Delhi government has initiated a programme to plant 3.2 million or 32 lakh trees around the periphery of Delhi as well as Yamuna flood plains. The move is seen as definitive step to combat the dust load that gets deposited in Delhi whenever there is a dust storm emanating from Western India especially Rajasthan.
Plan Details
All the government agencies have been given targets and have been requested to ensure that the survival rate of the plants is at least 70 percent. For the first time care is being taken that all the plants are of native variety including Pilkhan, goolar, mango, mahua, peepal, neem, banyan, berry, amla, jamun, amaltas, haara and, bahera.
There is provision of two audits one in March 2019 and the other in early 2020 by a third party to ensure maximum survival.
Uniqueness
The plan is unique as it insists on planting native trees. It also talks about third party audit for transparency. This is critical as there have been many green drives in Delhi during the last two decades with varying degrees of success. It has led to many claims and counter claims. People insist that if the earlier plantation drives were done rightly the green cover would have been enough to deal with the crisis of dust storms.
Challenges
Even in the present plan the Forest department which has the best results as far as survival rate of plants are concerned (on an average 70%) will be planting only 4.2 lakh (4020000) trees while the agency which has been tasked to plant the maximum number of trees is Delhi Development Authority (DDA). Plantation, raising forests, working on green covers is not its core competence. And yet it will plant ten lakh or a million trees.
Similarly the three Municipal Corporations which cover almost the 90 percent of the city population are tasked to plant four lakh (400000) trees while the NDMC or New Delhi Municipal Corporation which looks after only a small fraction of Delhi (Lutyens Delhi) will plant 3 lakh or 300000 trees.
So it would be interesting to see how the various civic agencies with different jurisdictions reporting either to the state as well as the central government are going to pull this ambitious plan off successfully.
The Way Forward
The Delhi Government initiative should be complement by the central government as well as the state governments of Haryana and Rajasthan. It is said that to weed out the problem strike at the root.
The dust storms emanate from Rajasthan. It’s an arid land with vast deserts. The winds blow from this region gather a lot of dust on their way in Rajasthan’s hinterland as well as Haryana, which too are arid and have sparse green cover, that lie in its path up to Delhi. These regions are Jaipur and Alwar in Rajasthan and Manesar and Gurgaon in Haryana.
The governments of the both the states should also initiate simultaneous green walls between Jaipur-Ajmer, Alwar-Neemrana at Manesar and then between Gurgaon and Faridabad. This will create four circuit breakers for the dust storm travelling from the west and absorb a large amount of dust before it reaches Delhi.
Green walls much before Delhi will not only help improve the local climate but also improve the qualitative and quantitative effectiveness of Delhi’s green wall.

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About indiadynamic

mediaperson worked for TWI, TVI, Dainik Bhaskar, UTV and Hindustan Times in all the divisions print, TV, radio and internet
This entry was posted in Climate change, Sustainability, Sustainable development, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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