The Delhi government announced on Wednesday that it will start a tree plantation drive in the national capital from June 5 on the occasion of the World Environment Day.
Making the announcement, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said the government will plant around 33 lakh saplings this year, including both big and small trees, to curb the problem of pollution.
"Last year, the Centre had given us a target to plant 15 lakh saplings in the city. We have planted 32 lakh saplings. This time, the target set by the Centre is to plant 18 lakh saplings, but the Delhi government has decided to plant at least 33 lakh saplings," Rai said during a press conference on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the minister also linked the shortage of oxygen during the second wave of the Covid pandemic to lack of trees.
"We have seen how Delhi faced oxygen shortage during the pandemic and the government had to make efforts to bridge the gap and it was successful. Though Covid cases are reducing now, there is only one way to reach a permanent solution for this oxygen problem and that is to plant trees on a large scale. We have decided to do that starting June 5."
Rai said that nurseries in Delhi will distribute saplings for free, including those with immunity boosting powers.
"Boosting immunity is important amid the Covid pandemic. Every year we give out plants for free from our nurseries. We have also been planting trees and plants such as giloy, aloe vera, curry leaves, sahjan, tulsi etc. These will be available at the nurseries to take home. Last year, 6.6 lakh plants were distributed like this," he said.