Get the most updated and recent current affair content on

Delhi cabinet gives nod to restore more than 400 hectares of Central Ridge

  • Be N By IAS, Delhi
  • 03, Feb 2021
Image Not Found

For: GS-3-Environment, GS-1: Geography


The Delhi cabinet Monday approved a plan to restore over 400 hectares of the Central Ridge, that is currently covered by an invasive tree species planted by the British in the 1930s.


  • Create indigenous Forest: The five-year revival plan intends to turn the ridge into a full-grown forest with indigenous plants and trees that will provide a recreational space for people in the heart of the city, forest department officials said.
  • Prosopis juliflora: The plan would be made possible with the removal of the vilayati kikar tree, or Prosopis juliflora, which allows no other species to thrive due to its weed-like properties —
    • fast growth in arid conditions,
    • depleting ground water and
    • killing any competition.


  • Head of the Project: Delhi University professor C R Babu of the Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems (CEMDE) will head the project with his team.
  • First Stage of Plan: In the first stage, his team is planning to create a three-layer forest in 100 hectares of area along Sardar Patel Marg, which houses a number of five star hotels and foreign embassies.
  • Planting native tree and plant: This would involve planting a variety of native tree and plant species that will replace the vilayati kikar.
  • The tree cannot be removed completely as the ridge is a notified reserved forest and,
  • Therefore, the plan is to remove a few branches to open space for sunlight to pass through. Native tree saplings and climbers will then be planted
  • Which will grow and cover the canopy of the vilayati kikar, causing it to slowly die.


  • CHALLENGES: The challenge before us is to restore this 400-odd hectares, which is fragmented as it is crisscrossed by roads, and at the same time provide a recreational space that will add to the city’s aesthetics.”
  • Nature of Aravallis: Delhi Govt. want to preserve the nature of the Aravallis and convert the Central Ridge into a unique place for everyone that is better than the Central Park in New York.”
  • Bird and wildlife: This conversion of the Ridge would invite more bird species and wildlife to return to it, including jackals and hyenas — whose sightings have gradually reduced.


  • Delhi Ridge, sometimes simply called The Ridge, is a ridge in the National Capital Territory of Delhi in India.
  • Wildlife Corridor: It lies in the Northern Aravalli leopard wildlife corridor.
  • The ridge is a northern extension of the ancient Aravalli Range, some 1.5 billion years old (compared to just 50 million for the Himalaya).
  • The ridge consists of quartzite rocks.
  • Extension: From the Southeast at Tughlaqabad and tapering off in the north near Wazirabad on the west bank of the river Yamuna, covering a distance of about 35 kilometres.
  • Green Lungs: The Delhi Ridge acts as the green lungs for the city and protects Delhi from the hot winds of the deserts of Rajasthan to the west.
  • Most bird-rich capital: It is also responsible for earning Delhi the tag of the world's second most bird-rich capital city, after Kenya's Nairobi.


  • Prosopis Juliflora is a shrub or small tree in the family Fabaceae commonly known as Seemai Karuvelam.
  • Native: Mexico, South America and the Caribbean.
  • Introduced in India: By British during colonial times.
    • Causes stomach poisoning in livestock
    • Permanent impairment of its ability to digest cellulose.
    • Causes drying up of water bodies and ground water
    • Cannot even shelter birds as it produces less oxygen and more carbon dioxide.
    • Causes land erosion due to the loss of the grasslands that are habitats for native plants and animals.


  • Indian Forest Act of 1878 classified the forests into three –
  1. Reserved forests,
  2. Protected forests and
  3. Village forests.

  • Level of protection: Reserved forests > Protected forests > Village forests
  • Reserve forests are the most restricted forests and are constituted by the State Government on any forest land or wasteland which is the property of the Government.
  • In reserved forests, local people are prohibited, unless specifically allowed by a Forest Officer in the course of the settlement.

Source: Indian Express


Q. Consider the following statements regarding Central Ridge of Delhi.

  1. It lies in the Northern Aravalli leopard wildlife corridor.
  2. The ridge consists of mostly sedimentary rocks.
  3. The ridge is a northern extension of the ancient Vindhyachal Range.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

  • a) 1 and 2 only
  • b) 2 and 3 only
  • c) 1 only
  • d) 1, 2 and 3