To keep track of trees, state to use geo-tagging

After mid-day highlighted sorry state of trees planted last year, forest minister orders officials to keep track of saplings planted this July through geo-tagging

Half the saplings planted at Mahim last year were either dead or dying. File Pic
Half the saplings planted at Mahim last year were either dead or dying. File Pic

After mid-day highlighted how trees planted by the state last year had withered in neglect, the forest department has decided to use geo-tagging to track each of the 4 crore saplings it plans to plant this year. Geo-tagging will make it easier to get details about the locations and the agencies taking part in the statewide plantation drive.

Also read - Mumbai: Chembur locals call BMC's bluff, save 39 trees

In an April 26 report, mid-day had pointed out how half the trees were dead or dying at Maharashtra Nature Park (MNP) in Mahim, where the state had kicked off its ambitious tree plantation drive last July. Interestingly, trees that were planted by VVIPs, such as the chief minister, were well cared for. On the other hand, trees planted by the common man had been left to dry up.

Also read: 80% of the time, BMC takes no action against illegal tree trimming

The annual plantation drive is the pet project of Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantivar, who said, "We want the plants to survive and, so, we have asked various government departments and NGOs to ensure that they take proper care of the trees that are planted. Our ultimate aim is to increase the green cover in the state. We have also asked participants to click pictures of the location where the plantation is done and to do geo-tagging, so that we can maintain a proper database of the plantation that is conducted," added Mungantivar.

Also read: 109 axed trees from Cuffe Parade to get sham 'marshy' home

Workers have already started digging pits for the plantation and a district-wise database is being compiled on the forest department's website. The forest department intends to plant a total of 50 crore trees within three years. Last year, as many as 2.82 crore saplings were planted across the state. A total of 16 government departments and hundreds of citizens had taken part in the drive.

Airoli's oxygen boost
This year's plantation drive will kick off at Airoli on July 1, where a total of 3,000 trees will be planted during a grand programme that will take place close to the nature interpretation centre of the flamingo sanctuary.

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