Fearing the durability of the RFID barcodes in forests, the State forest department has decided to conduct a pilot study of 50 trees in the initial stages, before the technology is adopted by the department on a large scale. This newspaper had earlier reported about how rampant deforestation is gradually taking a toll on the green cover in the state and the State forest department had planed to deal with the depletion with technological ingenuity. The department had decided to track thousands of trees across Maharashtra by using barcodes.
According to sources, the department realised that handling the barcode system will be difficult and hence the department decided to do a pilot study for 50 trees. “The study will incorporate marking, logs numbering, and measurement that will be read on the loaded truck. We need to ascertain the range of the data reader. The trucks have stacks of timber and data on the insides of truck will also have to be read. As Maharashtra is the first state to adopt this technology, we are concerned about the feasibility of the system and hence the pilot study had been planned for 50 trees,” said a source from the forest department. The official added that the department needs to see the RFID chip / strip’s durability and safety in the wake of manual handling of logs at the time of loading, unloading and stacking. If the project gets a nod, it will help us in timber depot management too,” said the forest official.
The MMR has five sanctuaries — Sanjay Gandhi National Park (103 sq km) in the heart of the city, which extends up to Thane, Tungareshwar (85 sq km) on the fringes of Vasai-Virar, Phansad (77 sq km), Karnala (12 sq km) and Tansa (320 sq km). However, the rapid urbanisation of these areas is taking a toll on the forests.
8,739 sq km
The densely forested area in the state
20,834 sq km
Moderately forested area in the state
21,077 sq km
Open forest area in the state