Hyderabad: Green cover is dwindling rapidly in the state, and Hyderabad is the worst hit when compared to other cities, according to data released by the Forest Survey of India and the AP Forest department.
In just one year, the state has lost tree cover of the size of Vijayawada city, or about 45.34 sq km.
According to Forest Survey of India-2011 Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy have only five per cent of forest cover at 391 sq km out of the total area o 7,710 sq km.
AP State of Forests 2012, a recent report by the state government, disclosed that moderate dense, scrub forest and open forest areas are being converted into non-forest areas. It is revealed that there is degradation of forests from higher canopy density class to lower canopy density class in 70 sq km.
Around 36.44 sq km of forests was lost due to encroachments and 16.29 sq km due to clearance of jungles for raising plantations and diversion of forest land for other purposes.
In the report, principal chief conservator of forests S.V. Kumar blamed the loss on pressure from human as well as cattle population.
Environmentalist Devidas Mangnani said habitat loss would affect biodiversity. Hyderabad should go for more green options and tree felling should be stopped immediately.”