The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has decided to conduct the city’s first-ever tree census, to arrive to a realistic figure of the number of trees that are there in the city.
According to Debasish Chakraborty, director general, parks, squares and building-II, the counting of trees has started from the beginning of 2016.
KMC in association with Calcutta University&’s botany department has undertaken this project to take stock of the city’s green cover. The counting would be done with the help of satellite mapping and field survey. He also said that the census is aimed at encouraging community awareness of the need for tree conservation, regulating pruning and felling.
Asked when the tree census might be completed, Chakraborty said, “It is a huge and time-consuming job and would take a considerable period of time to complete.” Once the census is completed it will help the department decide how many more trees would need to be planted within the city limits and it would also demarcate the dead trees that might pose a threat to the passer-bys.
Tree conservation, protection and management of trees have emerged as a focus area for the municipal corporation, as the rainfall in the past several hours led to the uprooting of more than 85 trees causing accidents in a few places that even involved loss of lives.
Debasish Kumar, MMIC, parks and gardens, informed that almost all the big trees that got uprooted and blocked main roads have been removed and removal of trees from small lanes and bustees has started from Thursday. He also informed that all the fallen trees and branches would be completely removed in the next 10 to 15 days. KMC has deployed 22 teams to clear the uprooted trees from the roads.
According to officials at Lalbazar police headquarters, six people were injured and one person died when a boundary wall collapsed after an uprooted tree fell the wall.
In another incident during the torrential storm on Wednesday, an old tree adjacent to the western wall of Nada House, 2 Bright Street got uprooted and fell half on the road and half on a restaurant causing major damage. Later an unidentified body was found under the debris.