Greenwash: Status of Plantation Initiative Under National Clean Air Programme
Urban trees are crucial for checking road dust and gaseous contaminants. Hence, tree plantation is one of the key actions listed in the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) to reduce pollution in the 122 non-attainment cities. This report analyses the work done under the plantation initiative of NCAP in its maiden year (2019). Of the 15 targeted cities, only seven responded to our Right to Information (RTI) queries. No plantation work was done in Guwahati. Detailed analysis for Korba, Hyderabad, Delhi, Agra, Chandigarh and Varanasi shows that none of the cities have planned plantations based on pollution hotspot locations, a key specification of the NCAP. Many cities have also introduced alien and incompatible species instead of native flora. Their plantation practice lacks scientific approach, proper planning and does not fulfill the NCAP’s objective.