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On an average, eight trees being cut daily in Delhi for the last five years- RTI

On average, eight trees are being cut daily in the capital Delhi during the last five years. This information came to light in response to a question under the right to information (RTI).

In response to the RTI, it has been stated that 15,090 trees have been allowed to be cut for separate projects of citizens, Delhi, and Central Government in Delhi from August 2016 to August 2021.

The RTI was imposed in 2018, which has now been replied to.

Trees cut without approval – RTI workers

Environment activist Vikrant Tongad, who planted the RTI, says a tree caters to the oxygen needs of four people. It takes many years for the plant planted in return for cutting trees to grow and how many plants become large trees should also be monitored.

He said the RTI has reported the number of trees to be cut with permission, while a large number of trees have been cut without approval.

Most of the clearances given for highways and metro projects

A forest department official said that about 25 per cent of Delhi’s land has forests, so cutting off only 15,000 trees over five years is a very small number.

He termed the number as low and said that it includes only those clearances where there was no other way but to cut down trees.

Most of the permissions from the department have been given for the construction of highways and metro projects.

The Supreme Court committee had revealed the price of a tree

A committee of the Supreme Court had said in February this year that a tree costs Rs 74,500 per annum. That is, multiply the tree by Rs. 74,500 as old as it is. The money that comes now is the economic value of that tree. 

The Supreme Court had in January last year constituted a committee to find out the price based on oxygen and other benefits from trees.

A tree gives oxygen worth Rs 45,000 a year

The committee in its report submitted to the Supreme Court said that the value of a tree more than 100 years old could be more than Rs 1 crore. Accordingly, sometimes the project for which hundreds of trees are cut is less than the economic and environmental cost of the trees to be cut.

Out of Rs. 74,500, Rs.45,000 is only for oxygen and Rs.20,000 is for bio-fertilizers.

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