In Harmony With The Environment: 10 Greenest States Of India
Living in an environment that is a right mix of greens and urban planning creates a positive impact on health of the residents. According to a study by the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin, Exposure to Neighborhood Green Space and Mental Health: Evidence, the green spaces leads to a low level of anxiety and stress among dwellers. It further adds that higher level of forest cover ensures low levels of air pollution and good environmental conditions.
Though the concept of ‘green city’ is a far flung idea for the metro dwellers in India, the country still has it’s share of green cities. According to a report, India State of Forest Report 2015, there has been an increase of 3,775 sq km in the total forest cover in India when compared to the year 2013. The report also lists top 10 green states/union territories.
MakaanIQ gives you an insight on what makes these states top the list:
According to the report, Mizoram tops the list with a forest cover of 18,748 sq kms. This is around 88.93 per cent of the total geographical area of the state. The forests in Mizoram are a part of the Indo-Burma Global Biodiversity Hotspot. The presence of large number of forests make this state ecologically balanced—supporting different varieties of bird, plant and animal life. However, since 2013 the forest cover saw a decline of 306 sq kms. This has been due to biotic pressure on land and shifting cultivation in the state.
Lakshadweep, one of the seven union territories of India, stands at the second position with 84.56 per cent of the total geographical area covered by the forests. Since 2013, there has been no change in the forest cover. In Lakshadweep, flora is still quite low with only few species. Poor soil conditions, low humus and overuse of pesticides and chemicals are some of the reasons for the low level of flora in Lakshadweep.
- Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands stand the third position with a forest cover of 6,751 sq kms which accounts for 81.84 per cent of the total geographical area. Since 2013, there has been an increase of 40 sq kms in the forest cover. This increase is mainly due to the increase in Mangrove cover and protection and conservation activities. Increase in the forest cover shows that the tribes would have more support and their economic, religious, cultural and social needs will be met easily.
- Arunachal Pradesh
With a forest cover of 67,248 sq kms, Arunachal Pradesh is at number four in the list. It is around 80.3 per cent of the total geographical area. Along with shifting cultivation, few forest areas in Arunachal Pradesh are diverted for development purposes. This has led to a decline of 73 sq kms in the forest cover when compared to 2013.
Nagaland has a forest cover of around 12,966 sq kms, contributing 78.21 per cent to the total geographical area. Standing at number five, since 2013, Nagaland saw a decline of 78 sq kms in the forest cover. Along with biotic pressure on forest land, shifting cultivation added to the decline in the forest cover.
Of the Meghalaya’s total geographical area of 22,429 sq kms, around 76.76 per cent is covered with forest. This makes Meghalaya sixth among the top 10 green states in India. Since 2013, there has been a decline of almost 71 sq kms in the forest cover. This is due the shifting cultivation and biotic pressure on forest land.
Manipur’s total forest cover area stands at around 16, 994 sq kms, 76.11 percent of the total geographical area. There has been an increase of four sq kms in the forest cover of Manipur. Increased plantation and different conservation activities have contributed to this increase.
Around 74.49 per cent of Tripura is under forest cover. This brings it at number eight in the list of top 10 green states in India. Since 2013, the forest cover has declined by 55 sq kms and this has been mainly due to encroachment on forest land and shifting cultivation.
With a forest cover of 2,224 sq kms, Goa stands at number nine in the list. The forest cover in Goa contributes to almost 60.08 per cent of the total geographical area. When compared to 2013, the forest cover in this state has increased by five sq kms. This change is the outcome of rise in Mangrove areas.
Kerala with a forest cover of 19,239 sq kms, which is around 49.50 per cent of the total geographical area, brings it to the the tenth position in the list. Since 2013, Kerala’s forest cover grew by 1,317 sq kms. This increase has been due to the commercial plantation in the state.