Tree plantation target unlikely to be reached by MCG this year

Published on Aug 30, 2021 11:27 PM IST

The MCG started the plantation drive only in August and has recalled tenders for planting saplings in at least eight of its wards, including wards 1, 2, 3, 31, 32, 33, 34, and 35. Officials cited change in strategy, which was to hire private contractors to maintain records of plantations and ensure higher survival rate

Prior to the start of the monsoon season in June, the MCG had set a target of planting 300,000 saplings in an official release. (HT Archive)
Prior to the start of the monsoon season in June, the MCG had set a target of planting 300,000 saplings in an official release. (HT Archive)
By, Gurugram

Even as the monsoon season is at its later stages, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has so far been unable to plant saplings in at least eight of its wards. Officials said that their target to plant 300,000 saplings this season is likely to be completed by March 2022.

Prior to the start of the monsoon season in June, the MCG had set a target of planting 300,000 saplings in an official release. However, the MCG started the plantation drive only in August and has recalled tenders for planting saplings in at least eight of its wards, including wards 1, 2, 3, 31, 32, 33, 34, and 35.

Officials said that bids for the eight wards will be opened only on September 4, after which a contractor will be finalised and planting of saplings will commence. Even for the other 27 wards, MCG floated tenders in mid-August for planting saplings and subsequently, maintaining them.

Subhash Yadav, the district forest officer (DFO), who is also the additional chief executive officer of the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) and the nodal officer of the MCG’s environment and sustainability wing, said that the civic body is lagging behind its target due to a change in strategy.

“Previously, the MCG was not accounting or keeping records of the saplings it had planted. This year, we decided to involve private contractors in this project so that there is higher accountability and to increase the survival rate of the saplings, due to which there is a delay in the plantation process. However, this process will have long-term benefits,” said Yadav.

Yadav said that while the MCG is likely to plant around 200,000 shrubs by this monsoon, plantation of around 100,000 trees would be completed by March next year.

“Around 90-95% (of the target) for planting shrubs would be achieved by this monsoon season. We are aiming to complete planting remaining shrubs, along with around 60,000 tree saplings, in February-March next year,” said Yadav.

Environmentalists said that the conditions of contracts with private contractors should be stringent to ensure proper maintenance of saplings.

“The MCG needs to ensure that it mentions the number of times the contractor has to water the saplings in a month as well as list the repercussions for failing to do so. Most saplings need to be watered at least on a weekly basis and the MCG needs to ensure the same is maintained for the survival of shrubs and trees,” said Vaishali Rana Chandra, a city-based environmentalist.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Kartik Kumar is a correspondent with the Hindustan Times and has covered beats such as crime, transport, health and consumer courts. Kartik currently covers municipal corporation, Delhi Metro and Rapid Metro.

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