The horticulture wing of the municipal corporation (MC) has failed in providing numbers on trees planted by it in different areas, including parks, in the city which has resulted in vanishing of many trees without any information with the corporation.
A scam is also suspected on part of officials of the horticulture wing as thousands of plants are procured for planting every year that do not possess number when they grow up. In absence of a number on a tree anyone can axe it and use for any purpose.
There are total 812 parks in the city which are managed by 316 gardeners employed by the MC. Such a large number of gardeners could have easily been able to count fully grown trees in the city had there been will on part of top officials of the MC.
Even environmentalists in the city believe that absence of numbering points out towards a mischievous agenda that could have caused losses worth lakhs to the civic body.
Sheetal Prakash, who is an environmentalist and had planted hundreds of trees, said numbering on trees was an official process and should be done properly. “Total number of trees with an authority cannot be known in the absence of numbering on them. Numbering is done in a series, and if the series breaks it means that the tree has been axed. Numbering is important so that no one could axe a tree as action is inevitable in case someone does it,” said Prakash.
While there are 316 gardeners with the MC, condition of most of the parks with the civic body deplorable. Only those parks managed by the committees formed by area residents have been maintained properly.
However, executive engineer of MC’s horticulture wing Surinder Kumar said, “So far, there is no account of trees planted in different areas under the MC. We only have ornamental trees as a result no counting was done. We also lack technical assistance as there is no post of forest guard.”
Interestingly, only one auction of trees took place last year despite the fact that many trees fall due to high velocity winds and otherwise are axed.
According to the records of horticulture department available on the MC website, there are at least 22 varieties of shrubs and trees planted by the civic body.