GIS system to stop illegal cutting of trees in Bengal

In a unique initiative to protect trees from illegal cutting, the West Bengal government has decided to use Geographic Information System (GIS).

The GIS system enables one to store, process and analyse all kinds of geographic and spatial data.

Sources in the forest department revealed that following the acute water crisis in Tamil Nadu and the drought-like situation in several parts of the country Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed the forest department to focus more on tree plantation.

“Apart from the planning of cities GIS system can also be used for environmental impact assessment. We want to utilise it in Bengal for crackdown on illegal felling of trees,” said a senior Forest Department Official.

Sources further revealed that every MLA has been told to ensure to the plantation of 1000 trees in his or her respective constituency in the state. 

The Forest Department in a recent notification had asked MLAs to ensure that the initiative becomes successful. The MLAs have been asked to coordinate with concerned Divisional Forest Officers (DFO) to collect the saplings for their constituencies.

“The MLAs have also been asked to ensure that the trees are properly maintained as often it has come to our notice that most of such saplings die off soon after being planted due to lack of care and maintenance. We have to ensure that the trees survive and we achieve our objective,” the forest department Official said.

He also said that the state government will reward officials who performed well with regard to planting tress with its Rupashi Bangla award which has a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, Rs. 75,000 and Rs. 50,000 respectively for the first, second and third place winners.

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