Peepal Trees to Help Delhi Get Rid of Toxic
Air: His Holiness Swami Advaitananda Giri Ji
Delhi: 10 Dec, Air quality of Delhi has become the worst among the capital cities across the world. The International Meditation Foundation has started a campaign to plant Peepal trees across Delhi to improve the air quality in the city.
Swami Advaitananda, Chairman, International Meditation Foundation, said the plantation of Peepal trees would have a magical impact on the quality of air in the city. “We have started the campaign from our own resources and have also given a proposal to the government to get it implemented at a larger scale,” he said. Swami Advaitananda, who is also the Mahamandaleshwar, Shri Panchdashnaam Joona Akhara, informed that there had been positive response from the government. “I have requested Shri Bhupendra Yadav ji, Honourable Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, to take up this issue on a priority basis,” he said.
Swami Advaitananda has also taken up the matter with several other ministers including Bhupendra Yadav’s predecessor Prakash Javadekar. In a letter forwarded to Prakash Javadekar on 2nd November 2020, Shripad Naik, then Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH and Minister of
State for Defence, wrote: “I am forwarding herewith a self-explanatory letter from Mahamandaleshwar Swami Advaitananda Giri, Shri Panchdashnaam Joona Akhara and Chairman, International Meditation Foundation, regarding making Delhi green again by plantation of Peepal
and Banyan trees in densely populated vilayati babool (kikars) in Delhi forest. I shall be grateful if you could kindly examine the matter and take appropriate action. Naik now holds the portfolio of Minister of State in the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism “I have been working tirelessly to get more and more plantations of Peepal and Banyan trees done across the country. Delhi is our focus because the air quality in the national capital has become intolerable. We must work together to get rid of toxic air,” said Swami Advaitananda.
Delhi forest has primarily vilayati kikars which does not allow other trees to grow nearby it and with their deep roots it has sucked up much of groundwater, leaving the land dry. Peepal (Ficus religiosa ) and Banyan (Ficus benghalensis) trees can grow nearby it very well and they will grow faster compared to any other tree. As these new trees grow, vilayati kikars can be trimmed simultaneously and finally removed. In order to provide sufficient sunlight, the top canopy can be cleared. Here are the reasons why we must plant Peepal tree: Peepal size is taller and that multiplies the size of forest in the same amount of land Peepal doesn’t require as much water and care as compared to other trees. Peepal provides spiritual benefits.
“Increase Delhi Oxygen 40 times by replacing Vilayati Kikar with Peepal Tree “– His Holiness Swami Advaitananda Giri Ji
Aseem Khan, Environmentalist, further said that Delhi’s jungle contains nearly 90% Vilayati Kikar and replacing that by plantation of Peepal trees would have a magical impact on the quality of air in the city. By replacing of Vilayati kikar with Peepal tree would clean air and enhance oxygen by 40 times.
Explaining this further, he added, “ As per research reports Peepal tree’s carbon sequestration potentials are nearly 87% as compared to Vilayati Kikar’s carbon sequestration potentials are just around 11%. This is nearly eight times more than vilayati kikar. Peepal tree’s size, its canopy is more than 5 times of vilayati kikar. Eight times carbon sequestration potentials multiplied by 5 times canopy is 40 times increase in jungle. Carbon sequestration potentials of 87% also means Peepal can clean 87% air and produce Oxygen equally. In other words, this will result in improved air quality of the region by alleviating atmospheric pollutants.”
Swami Advaitananda further explained, here are the reasons why we must plant Peepal tree:
- Peepal is not cut for wood or any other purpose due to religious reasons and that saves the tree for the long term. This solves the common problem seen with forests. This is the fourth largest illegal trade worldwide after arms, drugs and human trafficking as per United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
- Peepal provides fruit which birds can eat. Peepal leaves are liked by monkeys. When there will be sufficient fruit in the jungle, monkeys will not come out in the human population or will come out lesser. This will provide a natural habitat for birds and animals to maintain biodiversity.
- Peepal size is taller and that multiplies the size of forest in the same amount of land.
- Peepal is easy to grow, it doesn’t require as much water as compared to other trees.
- Peepal provides spiritual benefits.