Corpn. to carry out tree census in city

The Kerala High Court building in Ernakulam.   | Photo Credit: VIBHU H

The Town Planning Committee of the Kochi Corporation will soon chalk out a plan for a tree census in the city.

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court, while disposing of a petition filed by a city resident, had asked the civic administrators to complete the tree count within four months.

The civic body will convene a meeting of the Town Planning Standing Committee of the corporation to chalk out the formalities for the census. The Centre for Heritage Environment and Development and a non-governmental agency will be roped in for the job, said Mayor M. Anilkumar.

Incidentally, the local body had counted 6,443 trees that were located on public places in the city in a unique exercise conducted 11 years ago.

The census report, Trees of Kochi, was released by the then Mayor Mercy Williams at a function held at the council hall. The counting was carried out by the Rajagiri outREACH of the Rajagiri School of Social Sciences, Kalamassery, for the Kochi Corporation.

In public places

The survey results identified 2,086 large trees, 1,953 medium-sized and 1,761 small tones in the city. The volunteers had also spotted 542 saplings in public places of Kochi. While the survey focused on trees in public places, those located in private holdings were not covered in the exercise.

The survey was greeted by criticism that the trees located on public places accounted for less than two per cent of the total number of trees in the city and majority were on private holdings.

The major development activities that were implemented in the city during the past decade including the Kochi Metro Rail and Smart City projects had taken a toll on the city green cover as wayside trees were felled for the projects. The permission for cutting trees is given on the assurance that compensatory afforestation will be carried out, according to the officials of the Social Forestry Department.

The efforts of the civic administrators to locate the report of the earlier tree census after the High Court directive for tree count didn't succeed. The local body may have to do the exercise once again in the absence of the earlier document, which would have served as a benchmark, pointed out civic authorities.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2021 7:51:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/corpn-to-carry-out-tree-census-in-city/article37014004.ece

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