As many as 1.09 crore trees were cut with government permission in the last five years, the Environment Ministry said on Monday.
In response to a query in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Babul Supriyo said in the last five years 1,09,75,844 trees were removed and plantation of more than 12,60,00,000 trees has been stipulated under compensatory afforestation.
"The government policy is to ensure more trees are planted than removed under different developmental proposals approved under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. The trees are removed only when it is absolutely necessary. Because of this policy, India's forest cover is increasing," he said.
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