The national capital Territory of Delhi may soon have a wall of nearly 31 lakh native trees encircling it to shield it from frequent dust storms coming from Rajasthan.

A senior official of the Union Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change (MoEF) said that various agencies of the Union and Delhi governments have already begun the work of planting nearly 31 lakh saplings of various native species on the Capital’s three sides.

The natural barrier is to come up all along Delhi border with Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, while also encompassing the Aravali and the Yamuna forests areas.
The official said the scheme has two objectives — absorption of pollution-causing particulate matters by trees and shielding Delhi from the choking dust storms, coming in from Rajasthan every year due to western disturbances.

He said based on scientific studies, sufficiently tall and dense trees like those of pilkhan, goolar, mango, mahua and other native tress have been chosen for this scheme. “These tress prevent the dust particle from rising above in the sky due to low atmospheric pressure and stop them from condensing at few meters above the ground,” he said.

Also, included in this scheme are the tress of pepul, neem, banyan, berry, amla (Indian gooseberry), jamun, amltash, harre, bahera and other tress which release ore Oxygen. Of all these trees, peepal, which releases Oxygen round the clock, would be the highest chunk of trees to be planted in the scheme.

The official said the minute dust particles and other pollutants of the air easily get deposited on the leaves of ever green trees and are subsequently washed down to the ground and mix up with soil during rains. Accordingly, this scheme may prove to be an effective and permanent solution to the malady of air pollution, the officials said.

The Forest Department of Delhi government is all set to complete this scheme within two years, said another senior official of the department, adding that the scheme has already been formally launched on July 7. Various authorities which would be implementing the scheme in their respective areas in the national capital include the Delhi Development Authority, the Central Public Works Department, the Delhi Metro, the Northern Railway, the Public Works Department of the Delhi government besides, the Forest Department and various municipal councils and corporations of Delhi.

He said all the agencies together would plant nearly 21 lakh native tress and another ten lakh bushy ones like those of kaner, gurhal, bahuniya, chandni etc during a two-month tree-plantation drive during ‘Van Mahotsav’ from July 15 to September 15.

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