NEW DELHI, June 19: In a major move aimed at preserving the capital's green cover, the Delhi government today announced a substantial hike in the security deposit for cutting trees, amounting to more than 100 percent in case of commercial projects.
After re-fixation of the security amount and fixation of the compensation cost, the rate has been increased from Rs 28,000 to Rs 34,500 for each tree to be removed with a refundable component of Rs 15,000 for ensuring compensatory plantation in case of individual applicants.
Whereas in case of development and commercial projects, the rate has been raised from Rs 28,000 to Rs 57,000 under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994, with a refundable component of Rs 25,000.
Last such increase was in 2010 when the Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government increased the deposit amount 28 fold, from Rs 1,000 per tree to Rs 28,000.
Earlier, the AAP government had decided to plant as many as 14 lakh saplings across the national capital during 2015-16 amidst concerns raised over Delhi's air quality and calls for concerted action for combating pollution.
As part of an action plan to make the city green and clean, the government agencies concerned were also asked to fulfill their outstanding plantation targets for last year.
As per the information provided by the Ministry of Urban Development, the forest cover of Delhi stands at 180 sq km, more than Mumbai and Chennai.