BBMP to begin tree census in City

Species, height and girth will be recorded

BBMP to begin tree census in City

 Bygone: Tree lined avenues are a thing of the past in Bangalore now. File photoThe idea is to map, record and preserve the declining number of trees in the City.
Estimated to cost Rs one crore, the tree census is likely to be used by the Palike Forest Department to map all the trees in the City using their in-house Geographic Information System (GIS). BBMP officials have said that the census will ensure that the tree species, its height and girth will be measured and recorded.

“The volunteers to be roped in for the physical examination of the trees, will also provide their comments on the condition of the tree,” informed a BBMP officer.
The Palike is likely to use the GIS system that has been in operation for the property tax collection purpose.

“With the mapping of properties, even city roads have been identified. Coupled with Google maps we will utilise the GIS system to mark the trees and then physically verify them,” the official said.

The brainchild of Vijay Babu, a second year engineering student from BNMIT, the tree census began on a trial basis in the Hampinagar ward. The pilot project was initiated with an authorisation by the BBMP Forest Department to start the mapping process. The ward limits stretching for 1.1 kilometre has been mapped to have as many as 3,000 trees and saplings in public space alone.

“The entire stretch starting from 1st main road of Hampinagar has been mapped and has been found to have 39 species across the entire ward,” said Vijay Babu.

With the encouraging success ratio, the Palike Forest Department has decided to extend the same census to the entire City.

“We are hoping the project will help us gauge the number of trees existing in the Palike limits and map them for their preservation,” said an officer.

The BBMP has also decided to map the trees within the Defence lands and also in the premises of every individual private property owner.

“We will bring into effect the Karnataka Tree Preservation Act to map the trees in private land,’ added an officer.

Salient features

*Objective is to map, record and preserve declining number of trees
* Palike to use geographic information system
* Physical examination of the trees by volunteers
* Expected to cost Rs one crore
* Pilot project has commenced in Hampinagar ward

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