On 14th September, the Union environment ministry told the Rajya Sabha that around 10.76 million trees have been marked for felling in India owing to various developmental projects. In 2019 – 20, so far, around 1.263 million trees have been marked for felling while the year 2018 – 19 saw the highest number of trees (3.036 million) being marked for felling. Telangana has lost the most trees (1.6 million), followed by Chhattisgarh (0.99 million), Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh (1.3 million each) and then Arunachal Pradesh (0.63 million)
The Union environment ministry said,” “Trees are felled for various development purposes with the permission of competent authorities in accordance with the procedure laid down in various Acts and Rules. The Government’s policy is to ensure that more trees are planted than removed under different developmental proposals approved under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. Trees are removed only when it is absolutely necessary.”
In 2019 – 20, the ministry gave the state Rs. 21.98 crore under the national afforestation programme and in 2020 – 21 Rs. 119 crores under the Green India Mission.