NMMC to use high-tech approach for tree census

Aug 17, 2012, 07:22 IST | Saurabh Katkurwar

After failing to conduct tree census and gather data on number of trees and species every five years, horticulture dept of corporation plans to use GPS to begin task shortly

It could be anyone’s guess how many trees and what species thrive in Navi Mumbai, as the authority tasked with accumulating and recording this data has not been carrying out its duties.

GPS,NMMC Rs 1-2 crore,tree census
Counting trees: According to sources, the tree census using GPS will cost the NMMC Rs 1-2 crore whereas the manual census costs the authorities Rs 60,000. Representation pic

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) is supposed to gather data on number and type of species of trees in their jurisdiction by carrying out a census every five years.

Finally, the horticulture department of the NMMC claims that it is going to complete the pending task in the next few months, but it all depends on the feasibility of the Global Positioning System (GPS) the department intends to use.

Suresh Patil, deputy municipal commissioner of NMMC, who has taken charge of the horticulture department recently, claims that the tree census will begin shortly. “We are working on plans for the tree census project and will start in next few months. There are some technical issues as some trees come under the forest limits.

Also, we are planning to use a GPS application while conducting the census. A final decision will be taken only after studying the feasibility of the application,” said Patil.

NMMC is mulling over use of the GPS in order to keep advanced details of trees. Once trees are counted and scientific data collected with the help of the application, area-wise information will be available.

“If we carry out the census by counting trees manually, it will be difficult to keep track of all details. However, we will have all details of any tree or species if we use GPS.

With the GPS data, we will be able to furnish details of any tree or number of trees of any species in any area,” Patil said.
According to sources, conducting the census using GPS approach will cost the NMMC between Rs 1 to 2 crore, while manual census will cost no more than Rs 60,000.

Chandrakant Tayde, administrative officer of the horticulture department of NMMC and nodal officer for the tree census project could not be reached for comment.  

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