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Monday, Aug 26, 2019

1.74 crore saplings planted in Maharashtra in 3 days, 1.55 lakh in Mumbai suburbs, 0 in SoBo

Forest officials said the plantation drive did not take place in south Mumbai due to lack of space.

mumbai Updated: Jul 04, 2018 14:44 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Plantation drive in Marathwada.
Plantation drive in Marathwada.(Maharashtra forest department)

In the first three days of the state’s ambitious project to plant 13 crore saplings in the state, no saplings were planted in south Mumbai, revealed the forest department’s real-time data of the plantation drive. The forest department claimed that on Tuesday, they planted more than one lakh saplings in Mumbai suburban district, despite the heavy rains that had brought the city to a standstill.

With eight registered sites for plantation and 320 pits dug up in Mumbai city (south Mumbai), no saplings have been planted, the state forest department’s website revealed. During the month-long Van Mahotsav plantation drive, which commenced from Kalyan on Sunday, the state has kept a target of planting more than 1.77 lakh saplings for the suburbs and over 17,000 saplings for south Mumbai.

As per the data put up on the state’s forest department until 6pm on Tuesday, a total of 1,74,06,118 saplings were planted across 36 districts in Maharashtra, with 1,55,744 seedlings planted in Mumbai suburban district. This is a whopping rise from the mere 250 saplings planted a day ago in the suburbs.

Forest officials said the plantation drive did not take place due to lack of space in city.

“Online registrations have been very low from Mumbai city region, as there are very few open spaces for sapling plantations, and the area owned by the forest department is also very less. We request south Mumbai citizens to come forward and join this drive,” said P Srivastava, additional principal chief conservator of forest, Information Technology, state forest department.

“The response from areas such as Marathwada (where droughts are common) is encouraging because they understand the value of every sapling planted.”

The forest officials in-charge of the planation in Mumbai said over 500 sapling plantations had been carried out in south Mumbai but they were not reflecting on the website due to lack of registrations.

“The forest department has tied up with gymkhanas, educational institutions and various trusts for various plantations that are currently underway in the city,” said JR Gowda, deputy conservator of forest, state mangrove cell, in-charge of the drive in Mumbai.

Environmentalists refuted the claims stating there were a lot of open spaces.

“These afforestation plans exercise is just a public relations campaign for the state and urban development department to cover up the massive deforestation they undertake for the construction of their projects,” said Stalin D, director, NGO Vanashakti.

“This process to plant these saplings in the city is a sham. The government that claims Mumbai is open defecation free is also claiming that 1.1 lakh trees have been planted in 24 hours. This is fake propaganda, and the reality is very different,” said Zoru Bathena, Khar resident.

First Published: Jul 04, 2018 11:59 IST

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