Achieving 33 per cent forest cover unrealistic

Hyderabad: India`s ambitious target of bringing 33 per cent of its area under green cover is not realistic given the population pressure and the pressure for development, said Jairam Ramesh , Minister for Environment and Forests.

He also blamed IT industry for not adhering to green house norms.

According to him, it is better to improve the quality of green cover rather than harping on quantity.

"This is (the target) unrealistic in a country like India where the population is 1.2 billion and set to become 1.6 billion by 2040. With the population pressure in our country, with the development pressure in our country, to expect that suddenly India to grow the green cover from the present 21 per cent to 33 per cent is totally unrealistic," Ramesh said during Green Landscape Summit-2011 organised by CII.

He also pointed out that about 40 per cent of Indian forest is open degraded forest land meaning when you look up, you easily see the Sun (In forests with good tree cover, it is not possible to see the sun).

He blamed IT industry for not adhering to green house norms.

"The IT industry is a huge guzzler for air conditioning.

IT buildings are horribly inefficient when it comes to meeting energy efficient levels. I close my ears when the IT czars are giving long lectures on green building and when I see their building which are poor advertisements of green habitats, the Minister said.

According to him, bulk of the carbon emission comes from electricity generation and power plants, to the extent of 38 per cent of the total, followed by the industrial sector at about 23 per cent and 17 from agriculture.