Authorities yet to conduct survey to count trees in Ludhiana : The Tribune India

Authorities yet to conduct survey to count trees in Ludhiana

Authorities yet to conduct survey to count trees in Ludhiana

Environmental activists demand that the departments concerned must ensure counting and protection of the trees in all wards. Photo: Ashwani Dhiman



Tribune News Service

Harshraj Singh

Ludhiana, January 22

Unauthorised and merciless axing of trees was common in the city wherein air pollution is a major issue for a long time. The Municipal Corporation (MC) has allegedly no proper record of the actual number of trees under its jurisdiction.

Environmental activists demand that the departments concerned must ensure the counting and protection of the trees in all 95 wards. Voices against the unauthorised axing of trees were raised in the past too but no concrete steps have been taken to count and number the trees by the civic body. Also, there is no transparency in the plantation of tree saplings and their survival rate.

An environmental activist, Col JS Gill (retd), said required measures must be taken for the protection of trees from unauthorised and merciless axing. “There is a dire need to carry out a survey to count the trees and make proper planning to increase the green cover too. The departments concerned must ensure geotagging and numbering of the trees. A material which does not harm the trees can be used to mark a number.”

A demand to carry out a survey and protection of the trees in the city was raised around seven years ago by an NGO, Watavaran Sambhal Society. Amid the shortage of staff available with the MC’s Horticulture Branch, no such survey was conducted.

A resident, Varinder Kumar, said many plantation drives were carried out in different parts of the city in recent years. “The civic body should also have a record that how many plants have been planted by it so far and at present, what is the status of those plants. A survey regarding the status of all trees in the city should be done. As air pollution is a major issue here, the green cover should be increased too.”

An official of the MC’s horticulture branch, Kirpal Singh, said they were aware of trees which were under the jurisdiction of the corporation. He, however, said no survey was done to count the number of the trees.

In an audit report of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) in the past, it was also highlighted that all trees planted by the Trust are its property and the in-charge concerned has the responsibility to check the status of the trees. The LIT was also recommended to number the trees and make a proper record.

Demand for survey raised 7 years ago

A demand to carry out a survey and protection of the trees in the city was raised around seven years ago by an NGO, Watavaran Sambhal Society. Amid the shortage of staff available with the MC’s Horticulture Branch, no such survey was conducted.

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