In Gurugram, planting trees now a must to get building plans approved
The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) will only pass buildings plans and sanction occupation certificates (OC) of buildings on plots measuring 40 square metres and above if the owners have left enough space for planting at least one tree, officials said on Monday.
According to the model adopted from the Bengaluru civic by-laws 2003, the number of trees mandatory for an owner to plant will vary depending on the size of the plot.
At least one tree should be planted on a plot measuring 40-200 square metres, two trees on plots measuring 200-500 square metres, three for plots in the 500-750 square metre range, and one tree for every 4sq.mt. thereafter, MCG officials maintained.
In addition, the applicant will also have to plant the same number of trees on the shoulder of the road, in case the road is wider than 9 metres, officials said.
MCG senior town planner Satish Parashar said the implementation order came last week even though a proposal in this regard was approved during a House meeting on July 25 last year with the purpose of increasing the city’s green cover.
“Aside from the House meeting agenda, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had also directed the municipal corporation to implement such a measure to check air pollution. After necessary assessments, last week, the MCG made it mandatory for officials to approve building plans and sanction occupation certificates provided the necessary number of trees had been planted by the owner,” Parashar said.
For the last seven months, after an approval by the House, MCG officials had been waiting for an approval from the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) and also preparing a detailed project report (DPR) for ascertaining the minimum size of land needed for implementing this rule, officials said.
The civic body officials said that once the construction of a building is completed the owner will have to submit photographs of trees planted as evidence in the OC application and subsequently, officials will visit the site to verify if the owner has adhered to this rule.
Based on their findings, an occupation certificate will be sanctioned, officials said.
MCG officials said that in case they find that the owner has not planted a tree during their inspection, he or she will have to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 per tree with the stipulation that the necessary number of trees is planted within a period of one month.
MCG officials said the owner has an option of collection a tree sapling from the civic body’s nurseries, or can also plant a tree of his or her choice. Officials clarified that the responsibility of maintaining the tree(s) lies with the owner of the structure.
Environmentalist Vaishali Rana Chandra, however, was critical of the MCG not listing specifics for the kind of trees that should be planted, depending on the ecology.
“By not mentioning or listing the kind of trees that need to be planted, which ideally require both less maintenance and are suited to the weather conditions in Gurugram, the MCG has missed out on a key detail for ensuring the trees grow properly and do not wither away soon after,” Chandra said.
She further added, “The MCG themselves are vary of this. In February 2016, they had planted palm trees on MG Road, and soon after they withered away, as
they did not suit the weather conditions. They should have learned from this example and specified growing only those trees that grows in semi-arid conditions.”