Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched a mega tree plantation drive by planting a sapling at the Yamuna floodplain in Usmanpur village, with thousands of others joining him in the initiative on Saturday.
The government wants to plant 5 lakh trees and shrubs in the city in a day as part of the drive. Officials said around one lakh students and residents are participating in the campaign at 600 locations across the city to fight air pollution.
Kejriwal said studies have shown 70 percent of pollution in Delhi originated beyond its borders, but "this could not be an excuse to avoid tackling the situation". "Apart from a massive plantation, we also need to reduce pollution," he said. A large number of school children attended the tree plantation event held at Yamuna floodplains at Garhi Mandu in Usmanpur.
The chief minister encouraged the students to plant saplings near their house and take care of it. Around 32,000 saplings were planted at the venue of the event, a government official said. The Delhi government's Environment and Forest Secretary A K Singh said the target is to plant 32.5 lakh trees in the current year.
So far, around 15 lakh have been planted, he said. Delhi ministers Satyendra Jain and Rajendra Pal Gautam, AAP MLAs and party leader Dilip Pandey also attended the tree plantation campaign. Delhi's Environment Minister Imran Hussain also planted a sapling at his residence.