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July 5, 2012

CM keeps her word, tree census set to begin in Kolkata

CM keeps her word, tree census set to begin in Kolkata

Kolkata: The state forest department has initiated a census of trees in Kolkata. The census will mainly be conducted by Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), but the survey work will be carried out by Calcutta University and some NGOs related to environmental issues.

Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee had sworn to make the city greener and more beautiful in her poll manifesto ahead of the 2011 Assembly elections. She has kept her word and has started at the very beginning by ordering a tree census first. The move, forest department officials said, was the most important move towards a scientific approach for making the city greener.

KMC will coordinate with the statistical and botany departments of Calcutta University as well as NGOs who are working in the field of environment. Small groups will be formed to as the counting will begin in 50 KMC wards in the city. KMC has allocated Rs 15,000 for the work for each ward. According to reports available with the KMC, the number of trees in Kolkata has gone down by 5 per less trees in the last one decade.

As work for the census is carried out, KMC will start planting trees as well as raise awareness for protecting and planting trees. Leaflets carrying KMC's message will be distributed.

During the census, the scientific name and the species of the tree counted will be written. The forest department is also gearing up for the tree plantation week between July 7 and 14. The plantation will be carried out in 141 wards of KMC. The trees planted will be fruit-bearing ones to attract birds. The KMC recently surveyed and found that the number of sparrows and other birds has dwindled in the city.