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Civic body will conduct this year’s tree census with GPS technology

The detailed information collected will help BMC trim trees on time, prevent damage and curb illegal felling.

mumbai Updated: May 10, 2012 01:24 IST
Poorvi Kulkarni
Poorvi Kulkarni
Hindustan Times

If a tree is being felled in your neighbourhood, the process of checking if required permissions have been taken is set to become easier.

The local ward officers will soon be able to address your complaint without having to physically visit the site as the civic body will conduct this year’s tree census with the help of the global positioning system (GPS) and geographic information system (GIS) to collect detailed information about trees in the city. This information will help civic officials take decisions on issues like whether the trees need to be trimmed or have to be removed for widening of roads or other infrastructure projects, or whether the action is not required.

The technology will be used for the first time by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The census, which is carried out every five years by the civic body, is likely to begin by the end of June. “The major advantage of the new technology is that every tree in the city will be mapped. Accuracy in determining the exact location of every tree will help check tree-hacking activities,” said Suhas Karwande, deputy municipal commissioner (garden and security). As part of the census, the civic body will also profile every tree by identifying attributes such as rare varieties, ‘dangerous trees’ in need of trimming, endangered species etc. “Citizens interested in knowing rare varieties of trees in the city can approach the horticulture assistant of the local ward office, who would be able to locate such trees in the city for them,” said Kamlashankar Yaday, superintendent of gardens, BMC.

The integration of new technology in the working of the BMC has been hailed by activists and corporators alike. “It will help the administration function more efficiently. Along with the GPS system, we have also been proposing to connect every tree by a chip, which would make tracking of trees easier in case of any damage,” said Niranjan Shetty, former tree authority member.

First Published: May 10, 2012 01:22 IST