Ahmedabad has been the biggest loser in forest cover measures among the megacities of India.
As per the figures revealed by the Forest Survey of India’s State of Forest Report 2021, the city’s forest cover has dropped down to 48 per cent from 17.86 sq km to 9.41 sq km.
The report says that there have been major changes in forest cover in the megacities, the highest forest cover increases have been in Hyderabad and Delhi – 48.8 sq km and 19.91 sq km respectively. The decrease has been marked in Ahmedabad and Bengaluru at 8.55 sq km and 4.98 sq km respectively. The way the city has been expanding and construction activities are increasing, plantation drive initiated by the municipal corporation may have gone in for an urban plantation drive which also included mission million-plus trees that have remained on papers only.
The residential and commercial area has increased a lot since 2005 by 1,890.12 hectares from 2005 to 2011, from 8,168.31 hectares in 2005 to 10,058.43 hectares in 2011. Later it increased 4,085.79 from 2011 to 2016 reaching up to 14,144.22 hectares. Due to rapid urbanization the need for housing has increased and so the green covers were replaced by grey covers.
Officials say that the tree cover consists of 5% of the green cover but the forest cover consists of 7.57% and so it is important to maintain that.