Every year, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation plants saplings in different parts of the city in a bid to expand Kolkata’s dwindling green cover. But for the first time since these green drives began, the civic authorities have opted for a detailed survey defining the scope of plantation this monsoon. The botanists who conducted the survey were asked to give a ward and borough wise analysis of the core city area.
“It is more scientific and logical to go for a survey to determine how many saplings need to be planted than to blindly opt for forced plantation in the city,” Debashis Kumar, member, mayor-in-council (parks and squares), said. The survey conducted in each of the hundred wards in the core city area in May had come up with a requirement to plant 35,000 saplings this monsoon.
The ten botanists, who had undertaken the rigorous job of surveying and locating possible areas for plantation this monsoon, have already submitted a detailed list of the scope of plantation in every ward. A road wise-map has also been sketched. However, municipal commissioner Khalil Ahmed is aiming for a much higher target than just 35,000 saplings — he hopes to plant at least one lakh this monsoon.
Dismissing Ahmed’s rather ambitious target, a civic technocrat associated with the plantation programme said, “At the most we can manage to plant 50,000 to 60,000 saplings this year. However, if you consider the roadside and medium size shrubs in your count, then it would be more than a lakh.”