As many as 10.76 million trees were marked for felling to make space for infrastructural development projects in the last five years the Union Environment Ministry told the Rajya Sabha on September 14, Hindustan Times reported
In 2018-19, 30.36 lakh trees were marked for felling, which is the highest in the past five years, and the count for the same stood at 12.63 lakh in 2019-20. It is supposed that Delhi has lost 3,236 trees since 2015. The states recording the highest number of lost trees are Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
"Trees are felled according to the procedure laid down in various acts and rules and according to the forest Conservation Act, it is the government's policy to ensure that more number of trees are planted than removed," Union Environment of Ministry said in its reply. It also provided an annexure of the trees marked for felling against various developmental projects.
"The combined efforts of all the departments have constantly increased the forest cover and these governmental efforts are reflected in the biennial India State of Forest Report," the Ministry added. According to the 2019 forest report, tree cover has increased by 13,209 sq km from that in 2015.
The ministry gave ₹21.98 crores to the states in the year 2019-20 under the national afforestation programme and ₹119 crores has been released in the year 2020-21 under the Green India Mission.