Delhi: Lodhi Gardens

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Graphic courtesy: The Times of India
Graphic courtesy: The Times of India

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NDMC and Green Circle

The Times of India Apr 10 2015

Risha Chitlangia

7,000 trees in this green haven

NDMC & Green Circle jointly conduct census of Lodhi Garden trees to create awareness

NDMC carried out a tree census at the 90acre garden, released the data. The exercise assumes significance in the wake of Delhi being dubbed one of the highly polluted cities of the world. In the first-of-its-kind survey that was conducted with the help of Green Circle of Delhi, an environmental group, the civic agency has identified some rare species and determined the exact number of each variety , sick trees and shrubs.

P K Tripathi, former chief secretary and commissioner of Public Grievance Commission released the figures on the occasion of 79th anniversary of Lodhi Garden. The aim of the exercise was to protect the green cover and sensitize the people about its importance.

Over the years, NDMC has introduced several new species of trees from across the country and abroad. From African olive tree (Olea Africana), which was planted in 2008 to mark Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday, to rudraksha to medicinal plants like neem, one can find a wide range of species. But most people, especially those who visit the garden regularly, are unaware of this treasure trove.

Besides palms and bamboos, there are trees with interesting names like chudail papdi (Holoptelea integrifolia). “It is called chudail papdi in Hindi because of the texture of its bark,“ said an official with NDMC's horticulture department. One can find clothes hanging on the branches of Roheda (Tecomella undulata), a medicinal tree. There is a belief that if one leaves a piece of hisher cloth on this tree, they will never fall ill.

“We have started the process of numbering these trees. This exercise has helped us identify new trees and determine the exact number of each species, said J P Sharma, director, Horticulture, NDMC.

Members of Green Circle of Delhi stress the need to develop more parks on the lines of Lodhi Garden. “The air quality is rapidly falling. There is an urgent need to expand the green cover and also to protect it. Through this, we aim at sensitizing people, especially those who visit Lodhi Garden, and develop a sense of ownership. People's participation will help us make Delhi a green city, Suhas Borker, founder of GCD. At present, the government doesn't have a count on the number of trees in gardens and parks of Delhi. “It is commonly believed that trees in gardens and parks are protected. But this is not the case.There might be a lot of rare spe cies, which people are unaware of.We can protect them if a census is done,“ said Borker, one of the key people instrumental in launching tree census in the city.

The civic agency has been working hard to increase the green cov er. “In the past few years, we have introduced several new variety of trees. We have planted rudraksh, jungle badam, camphor etc, which usually grow in hilly regions,“ said Babu Khan, additional director of horticulture, NDMC.

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