Pune (Maharashtra): Defending the Centre over felling of one crore trees, Union Environment and Forest Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said that permission is granted to cut trees for paving way for several development projects and added that saplings are planted to assuage the damage.
“Sometimes permission is given to cut trees for development but if 1 tree is cut, 5-10 are planted,” he told ANI here.
He said that his government was making constant efforts to increase forest cover in the country.
Javadekar said: “Forest cover has increased 8,000 square kilometres in two years between 2015 and 2017. It can be seen from satellites. During 2014 and 2019, it increased by around 16,000 square kilometres.”
On Saturday, Congress attacked the government for allowing cutting of over one crore trees for development projects in the last five years and said that “BJP is destroying our future”.
“Trees are life. Trees are oxygen. Trees absorb carbon dioxide. Trees protect the environment. Modi Govt has cut a whopping 1,09,75,844 trees in the past 5 years! (Parliamentary Reply),” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Twitter.
Javadekar took a dig at Surjewala saying that the leader should focus on the election of next Congress president and not on such issues.
He said: “I think should not take up these issues. He should tell who is the president of the Congress.”