News Excerpt
The Delhi Cabinet recently approved the “Tree Transplantation Policy” for the preservation of trees in the Capital and sanctioned funds to construct a smog tower at Connaught Place as part of its efforts to combat air pollution.

The tree transplantation policy had first figured in the Delhi government’s annual budget for 2019-20, two smog towers, including the proposed structure at Connaught Place, are being constructed following a November 2019 order of the Supreme Court to the Delhi government and the Central Pollution Control Board.

About the Policy
●    Under the tree transplantation policy, agencies or institutions behind any project will not only have to transplant at least 80 per cent of affected trees, they will have to ensure survival of at least 80 per cent of transplanted trees.
●    The policy entailed planting 10 saplings as a compensatory effort if one tree was supposed to be cut.
●    A dedicated Tree Transplantation Cell will also be formed by the Delhi government and local committees, which will include government officials, citizens, RWAs to monitor the transplanted trees and to certify that the task has been done with due diligence.
●    Also a panel of the agencies that excel in the task of transplantation and whichever department wants trees to be transplanted can approach any agency out of the panel that is being formed.
What was the need of the policy?
The woodland of Delhi is very dense and the trees are old and strong because Delhi is quite an old city and the government constantly tries to save and preserve trees but often due to construction and development work trees are cut down.

    The policy isn’t about the question of saving trees, but the loss of several hundred trees from a neighbourhood.
    For sure, a hotter micro-climate and more dust would become the order of the day. The poorest in the city will experience unbearable heat.
    Birds, including those from exotic species, will lose their unsubstitutable homes.  
    Not all open spaces are ecologically viable for planting non-native trees anyway. Unless the Delhi government stops work on all upcoming buildings and knocks down built infrastructure, where thousands of unwanted trees can be dumped in the what has been called transplantation.
    The Delhi government overturns these giants of modern science. Nor does it trust Indian culture, rich with odes to symbiotic affections. Delhi (and India) must nurture trees in situ. It must build with them intact.

Smog Towers, Central Pollution Control Board, National Forest Policy, Social Forestry, etc