NEW DELHI: An audit of annual sapling plantations conducted in the city between 2016 and 2019 showed that wild animals and stray cattle damaged the plants at many sites, and soil and water conservation measures were not adopted at many places.
The Dehradun-based Forest Research Institute (FRI), which last year conducted an audit of annual sapling plantations, also said records of plantation sites were not presented or shown to the survey teams. “This is a serious problem with respect to monitoring and future implementation of the activities. Only the numbers of plants, names of the sites and GIS maps were shown,” the FRI said in a report submitted to the Delhi forest department.
“At many sites, the plants were found damaged due to wild animals and stray cattle. Measures need to be enhanced to provide protection to the newly planted saplings,” read the report. It was also found that soil and water conservation measures were “feeble” considering the fact that such measures were not adopted at many sites, the FRI stated.
Soil and water conservation measures are important to enhance the productivity of the land, recharge the water table and improve the water regime at the plantation sites. “It would be prudent if the soil and water conservation component is compulsorily included in the plantation programmes and annual work plans,” the report said.
Although the findings of the plantation audit presented an “encouraging” picture, it was also observed that GIS-based planning was not adopted for taking up plantation and soil and water conservation activities at the sites selected for the plantation.