New Delhi: Only 37 percent of the trees transplanted in the national capital in 2021-22 have survived despite the implementation of the Delhi tree transplantation policy, according to forest department data.
A senior forest department official said, "The policy has made the tree transplantation process more scientific but we are yet to study its impact as it was implemented just a year-and-a-half ago".The forest department data showed that only one-third (33.33 percent) of the 16,461 trees transplanted in Delhi over the last three years survived.
Only 1,521 of the 4,162 trees transplanted in the city in 2019-20 survived.
Just 2,001 (28.57 percent) of the 7,003 trees survived in 2020-21 and 1,965 (37.10 percent) of the 5,296 trees transplanted in 2021-22 are alive, the data showed. According to the Delhi government's tree transplantation policy notified in December 2020, agencies concerned have to transplant a minimum of 80 percent of the trees affected by their development works. The benchmark tree survival rate at the end of one year of tree transplantation is 80 percent.
Tree transplantation for 22 development projects has been undertaken in the last three years. The survival rate varies from five percent to 97 percent.
According to the data, only 1,382 (37 per cent) of the 3,736 trees transplanted for the construction of a stretch of the Dwarka Expressway, connecting Mahipalpur in Delhi to Kherki Daula toll plaza in Gurgaon, have survived.
Just 27 percent of the 4,425 trees transplanted for the construction of another stretch of the expressway are alive, it showed.
Of the 404 trees transplanted for "expansion, restoration of existing Parliament building" under the Central Vista project, only 30 percent have survived.
The survival rate of the 961 trees transplanted for the construction of the Majlis Park-Maujpur corridor of the Ph-IV project of the Delhi Metro is 46 percent.
The Delhi tree transplantation policy document states: "The final payment of the technical agency shall be linked to the tree survival rate achieved with a provision for a penalty for tree survival rate below the benchmark rate." The first payment (20 percent of the finalized rate) is made after 100 percent completion of the transplantation of all trees through proper technical methods.
No further payment will be made if less than 50 percent of the trees fail to survive "as the transplantation operation will be declared a failure", it says.
In April, the government had approved a proposal to conduct a third-party audit to assess the “success and survival rate” of all transplanted trees in the national capital.
The Dehradun-based Forest Research Institute (FRI) has been roped in for this purpose.