City’s development authority has recently been praised for its environmental endeavours.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) journal has accredited the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for achieving a tree transplant survival rate of 80 per cent — the highest in the world.
To compensate the loss of green cover due to various infrastructure projects, the Authority is undertaking one of the largest plantation projects in the country.
Vikas Tondwalkar, joint project director (environment), MMRDA, said generally the transplant survival rate is not more than 50 per cent.
“Over 3,100 trees have been transplanted in the Aarey Colony, near Goregaon,” he said.
The total number of trees affected by the MUTP sub-projects has been put at 4,818, which includes 1,843 trees to be cut and 2,975 to be transplanted.
The Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road and the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road account for over 3,600 trees of which some will be cut and others transplanted.
“The Tree Authority of India (TAI) has asked us to plant 3,686 trees to compensate the loss of green cover by the end of 2009, but 80 per cent have already been planted,” added Tondwalkar.
As per the TAI directive, every tree cut has to be balanced by planting two new trees.
“We are going to plant 10,000 trees by the next year, three times more than prescribed by the TAI,” he added.
The Authority has achieved this by involving citizen groups. They have also invested money to buy fertilisers for the transplanted ones.
Apart from the WHO, an American channel’s staff visited Mumbai to do a special on the transplanting programme initiated by the Authority.