As per the Indian State of Forests Report (IFSR) 2021, the forest cover in Chandigarh and Panchkula has increased as compared to 2019 meanwhile forest cover of Mohali has decreased compared to 2019.
The Forest Survey of India conducts the forest survey to gauge the status of forests in th country using all modern techniques every two years.
In Chandigarh, forest cover increased from 19.32%(2019) to 20.07%(2021) of its total geographical area (114 sq. km.). Panchkula’s forest cover increased from 43.51%(2019) to 43.66%(2021) of its total geographical area (898 sq.km.). While in Mohali, th forest cover area decreased from 12.86%(2019) to 12.83%(2021). Interestingly, the moderate dense forest area in Chandigarh decreased from 14.24 sq km(2019) to 13.51 sq km(2021).
Deputy Conservator of Forests(DCF) Abdul Qayum said that “The Forest cover included very dense forest, moderately dense forest and open forest along with tree cover outside the forest area. The increased forest cover of Chandigarh, which is now more than 50%, is the result of joint efforts organisations including educational institutes, NGOs etc.
However, Likhna Ram Budaniya, who works in the field of tree plantation, raised some concerns. He sai, “The forest cover, tree cover and tree plantation drive are different things. The UT Forest Department is always reluctant sharing the figures of planted saplings and how many of these saplings survive later. The IFSR states that the moderate dense forest area in Chandigarh has decreased, which is a matter of concern.”