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Gurgaon loses acres of green cover

 

 

Times of India, Delhi, 10th July 2014\

 

Between 2008 and 2012, there was marginal increase in forest cover in NCR districts except Delhi despite all tall talk by different agencies undertaking plantation drives. While only two districts—Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar—added 2 sq km (480 acres) of forest area, an equal area of forest vanished in Gurgaon, according to the latest India State of Forest Report 2013 published by Forest Survey of India.


There was no such change in the case of Faridabad. Among all NCR districts, Gurgaon has a maximum of 8.28% of its total geographical area under forest cover. While 4.32% of Faridabad's total geographical area falls under forest, in Ghaziabad it's less than 2%.



The comparison of the forest reports of 2011 and 2013 shows that the change in forest area in case of the three NCR districts—Gurgaon, Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar—was only in the 'open forest' category.


"It's worrying. We have lost 480 acres of forest cover in Gurgaon despite significant efforts by all stakeholders. Therefore, all existing forest cover should be accorded permanent protection as deemed forest, reserved forest, conservation reserve, etc," said environment analyst Chetan Agrawal.


He added that there is no clear picture of how much forest exists within Gurgaon city limits. On reduction of forest cover in Haryana, the forest report says, "The decrease in forest cover is largely confined to areas outside recorded forests. The main reasons are tree felling in agro-forestry areas and also for development activities like construction and widening of roads and building residential complexes in non-forest areas."