The first phase report of the city-wide tree census being carried out by the civic body has marked about 298 different species of trees already. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has counted more than 16 lakh trees in the first phase of its Global Positioning System-based (GPS) tree census.
The information from the census will be uploaded on the BMC’s official website, making it easier for you to access the data. The information is also expected to help those researching the city’s green cover. The census is expected to be completed by the year-end.
The last tree census of the city was carried out in 2008 and it had recorded 19 lakh trees, whereas this time, the BMC has reached a figure of 16 lakh in just 16 administrative wards of the city. Eight wards are yet to be counted.
Sources said the rise can be attributed to a more efficient counting system.
The report, apart from identifying 20 rare species of trees in the city, has also identified a new species – Adam’s Apple (Manilkara Kaukil) – in the BMC’s D ward area.
The project, begun in February last year, is expected to cost the BMC around Rs 2.07 crore, along with an additional Rs49.5 lakh for conducting a tree census at Aarey, which was not considered earlier.
The census is done using Trimble GPS units, to note the location of a tree. This information, along with a unique ID for each tree with its characteristics, will be published on the civic body’s geographic information system (GIS) map.
Information such as whether the tree is diseased, has been mechanically cut, has a cement collar around it, is also being recorded.
The report mentions that so far, about 43,106 trees have been found to be mechanically cut.
“All the information will be uploaded on our website, for citizens and researchers to study. Most of the city has been covered. The GIS has made it easier to know the location of rare species,” said SVR Srinivas, the additional municipal commissioner.