The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has yet again failed in completing the tree census. The deadline for tree census was November 30, 2011. Even after a lag of one year the civic body claims that “the task is almost done but only the Peth areas remain”.
Despite the extended deadline, PMC’s garden department is still struggling to complete the census. The agency that was appointed to carry out the census “was unable to identify the species of the trees”, PMC claims.
Environment activists are Disappointed over the delay and have also demanded the use of modern technology for tree census.
One of the petitioners Vaibhav Gandhi said, “This is a deliberate act of PMC. And to bring this slumbering nature of PMC to the notice of HC, we have filed another affidavit. In the affidavit we have requested the Court to direct the civic body to return the tree tax that is being collected as a part of the property tax. We have also sought the use of modern techniques to conduct the census like labelling the tree with RFID, waterproof paints and the likes.”
The Deputy Municipal Commissioner and Superintendent of PMC’s garden department, Sunil Kesari, on the unfinished census and delay in work said that they are trying to finish it as early as possible. PMC will request the court to extend the deadline of the census as the area is huge. However only Peth area remains.
Besides counting the number of trees, the enumerators are also documenting the species of the trees, their age and other details. The tree census is important to understand the extent of deforestation in the city, and also to see the spread of exotic species, which is why it is taking so much time.