'Continuing the commendable trend of the past decade, India's forest cover increased by 728 sq km during 2005-2007 - a marginal rise of 0.03%. Overall, 21.02% of the country's geographical area is now under green cover. In the 10 years, forest cover in the country has increased by 3.31 million hectares, showing an average 0.46% increase every year,' says a State of Forest Report quoted in today's Times of India.
For some reason, probably cynicism, I am reminded of this joke:
New York Police, Scotland Yard and Mumbai Police gather on the outskirts of a forest to determine who is the best. The test is to find a deer that will be let loose in the forest.
NY Police takes a day. Scotland Yard, half a day. However, even after three days the Mumbai Police team doesn't return. Worried, the judges decide to investigate. Half an hour into the jungle they stumble up on this scene:
A monkey is tied upside down to a tree and a Mumbai Police constable is whipping it with his belt. With every lash, the Police inspector yells, "Say it: I am a deer".