There is good news for all Indians especially for one who cares for the environment most. The central government is planning to create a 1,400km long and 5 km wide green belt from Gujarat to the Delhi-Hariyana border, on the lines of the great “Green Wall”. The project is yet to get a formal node and details to be worked out.
Desertification and land degradation are increasing in India. According to a report submitted by ISRO in 2016, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Delhi were among states where more than 50% of the total area was degraded land and those under the threat of desertification.
The proposed idea of aforestation will not only help in restoring degraded land but also act as a barrier for dust storm coming from the deserts in western India and Pakistan. The idea of creating great green wall of India is a part of the agenda of the recently held conference (COP14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in India.
It will be a replica of great green wall of Africa, which was started almost a decade ago but still far from reality. The project is also important for India to meet its goal to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. India has currently 96.4 MHA of degraded land which is 29.3% of the country’s total geographical area.
According to the sources, the belt of great ‘Green Wall’ of India may not be continuous, but would roughly cover the entire Aravalli hills range and beyond.