After a year, project to replace vilayati kikar trees with native species in Delhi makes no progress

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Published: April 3, 2019 5:10:11 PM

The proposal was never presented to Delhi government, whose consent is meant to be mandatory for all the new projects of this sort. The government had also set an allocation of a sum of Rs 12.21 crore from Ridge Management Board fund.

Last year, the Delhi government had engaged experts to clear the ridge of the invasive, non-native vilayati kikar trees. (IE)

Crucial environmental project comes to a standstill! A 100-acre patch between SP Marg and Vandemataram Marg near Karol Bagh in Delhi should have seen a significant change in its ecosystem by now. Last year, the Delhi government had engaged experts to clear the ridge of the invasive, non-native vilayati kikar trees. In the 2018 budget speech, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, announced that the government had set aside a sum of Rs 50 crore for the project, according to an Indian Express report. The proposal was never presented to the Delhi government, whose consent is meant to be mandatory for all the new projects of this sort. The government had also set an allocation of a sum of Rs 12.21 crore from the Ridge Management Board fund. The first phase of the project was to start in the month of July last year and be completed by March this year.

This patch of the ridge would have been bleak with the existing canopy chopped, and a few new shoots competing with what remained of the invasive species in the area. The Delhi government officials did not disclose any reasons for the delay, according to the report.The government had engaged the Head of Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems, C R Babu, who is a noted ecologist, for the activities of the project. According to CR Babu, while all other permissions were in proper place, but the project got stuck at the stage of getting the Cabinet’s approval. He added that it was approved by most departments of the government.

His team’s plan involved planting a community of as many as 30 different native plant species and opening a section of the ‘revived’ ridge for people and also creating ecologically designed recreational centres. CR Babu and his team have previously carried out a successful project at the Aravalli Biodiversity Park, which is a part of the southern ridg

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