Delhi’s Tree Transplantation Policy: Survival Rate Woefully Low

A recent report by the forest department reveals concerning details about the success rate of tree transplantation efforts in Delhi. Despite a policy aiming for an 80% survival rate, only 33.33% (5,487 out of 16,461) trees transplanted between 2019 and 2021 survived.

Low Survival Rates at Metcalfe House Project:

An inspection conducted on April 4, 2024, at a transplantation site near Metcalfe House in Civil Lines painted a bleak picture. Of the 89 trees transplanted, only 27 (30.3%) were found in good health. The remaining trees were either dried up or could not be identified by the transport department officials. This raises serious questions about the planning, execution, and monitoring of the transplantation process.

Delhi forest dept

Policy and Reality at Odds:

The Delhi’s Tree Transplantation Policy, 2020, mandates the transplantation of at least 80% of trees felled for a project and requires measures to ensure their survival. While the policy aims to mitigate the ecological impact of development projects, the current survival rate falls far short of this target.

Compensatory Measures and Violations:

The report acknowledges violations in the inspection of transplanted trees. In an attempt to rectify the situation, the NGT (National Green Tribunal) has mandated compensatory plantation of 705 trees for the 141 trees that failed to be transplanted. This highlights the need for stricter enforcement and accountability.

A Call for Improvement:

The low survival rate highlights the need for a more robust approach to tree transplantation in Delhi. Measures are needed to improve the selection of healthy trees for transplantation, ensure proper care during the process, and implement effective monitoring mechanisms.

This case, with a survival rate of only 30.3% at the Metcalfe House site, underscores the urgency for immediate action. By closing the gap between policy and practice, Delhi can strive to achieve its goal of sustainable development and a greener city.

Reference- Hindustan Times, India Today, Tree Transplantation Policy, 2020 website, Forest Department website