BMC plans to grow more fruit bearing trees in Mumbai

Sep 28, 2017, 18:43 IST | Laxman Singh

After census points to shortfall, civic body plans to grow more fruit-bearing trees in city to improve biodiversity

The BMC will be planting more mango, jackfruit and papaya trees (below) in a phased manner

After a recent census revealed that Mumbai lacks fruit-bearing trees and plants, the civic body is mulling to start plantation of more such trees across the city to improve the biodiversity in the region.

More mango, chikoo, jackfruit and papaya trees will be planted in a phased manner, as these trees are not only best suited to the topographical conditions of the city, but also attract birds and butterflies.

A Global Positioning System (GPS)-enabled tree census recently revealed that the city has 28 lakh trees, which include 425 different types, 70 species and 140 rare ones. The census, which was conducted over a period of three years, also found that Aarey Milk Colony was home to over 4.75 lakh trees. Based on the details obtained, the BMC learnt that the city had fewer fruit-bearing trees. "Birds in the city face a real challenge because of this," an official from the garden department of the BMC said.

According to the census, Mumbai has 1.31 lakh coconut trees, 2.09 lakh types of Ashoka trees and only 67,000 mango trees.

Both, coconut and Ashoka are not helpful for birds, the official said, adding that they now intend to improve on this imbalance with plantation of more fruit trees.

Speaking about the tree census, Jeetendra Pardesi, superintendent of the garden department, said, "The census has helped us understand, which type of trees grow more in a particular topography. In Mum­bai, hills, creeks and flat areas have different types of trees."

Coconut trees, for instance, grow well here because of the city's proximity to the sea. "Now, we have scientific details of all trees with their requirements. This information will help in plantation of trees that are best suited with certain topography," Pardesi said.

Census check

The census has also thrown light on other interesting details related to trees. Mal­abar Hill area is said to have some of the oldest trees ac­ross the city. Also, certain areas in the city are said to have been named due to the large presence of a par­t­icular type of tree. For exa­m­ple, Tadwadi and Tardeo got their name because of maxim­um number of palm trees (tad) in the area, while Nariy­alwadi got its name because of the number of coconut (na­riyal) trees that grew the­re. Some rare trees mentio­ned in the census include Arenga Palm, Browning Coccinea (Roze of Venezu­ela), Elephant Ear Plants and Australian Chest-nut. Most of the rare trees are currently at Byculla Zoo.

 

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