59% trees planted in Fatehabad district in four years missing

FATEHABAD: Trees planted by the Forest Department during its various drives in four years in Fatehabad have shown dismal results in terms of survival rate of the plants.

editorial@tribune.com

Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Fatehabad, August 17

Trees planted by the Forest Department during its various drives in four years in Fatehabad have shown dismal results in terms of survival rate of the plants.

A random sampling done by the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) wing of the department has revealed that merely 41 per cent trees planted from 2011-12 to 2014-15 were found at their place, while the other 59 per cent were nowhere to be traced, thereby causing huge loss to the government.

The survival rate of the trees planted in 2012-13 has been found to be as low as 30 per cent.

A single 5-ft tall tree costs the government between Rs 50 to 150, while small saplings cost nearly Rs 6, sources in the Forest Department said.

A team led by OP Bishnoi, Divisional Forest Officer of the M&E wing of the Forest Department from Hisar, carried out random survey of the trees planted in four years from 2011-12 to 2014-15 in April.

On a random basis, the team checked the survival of saplings planted on 71 hectares and 50.4 running kilometers (RKM) of the forest land during its inspections. The forest area along the roads and highways is counted in RKMs, while the other forest area is measured in hectares.

Out of the 76,300 trees planted on this randomly selected area in these four years, the M&E team could find only 30,947 plants on the ground, making the survival rate 41 per cent.

In the 8 hectares selected from 2011-12 plantations, only 4,235 trees (48 per cent) out of 8,800 survived.

The team selected 7.5 hectares and 42.4 RKMs where the department had planted 21,250 saplings in 2012-13, but merely 6,413 (30 per cent) were found on the ground.

The survival rate of 2013-14 plantations was found to be 42 per cent, with 17,338 plants found standing out of the 41,750 saplings planted on 40.5 hectares and 8 RKMs of the forest land that was randomly selected by the team.

Bishnoi said he had submitted his report to the DFO, Fatehabad, as well as the conservator of the M&E wing of the department at Karnal.

Naresh Ranga, divisional forest officer of the department at Fatehabad, however, said random sampling of plantations did not present the true picture of the actual survival rate. He said survival of trees could come down due to several reasons, many of them beyond the control of the department.

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