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New tree census in city will use geo-tagging (Dec.)

 

Free Press Journal, Mumbai, Monday 2nd December 2013,

Illegal tree felling will become difficult now with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) planning to use GPS (Global Positioning System) and GIP (Geographic Information System) for tree mapping during the census.

The main advantages of using GIS and GPS are that it will help to easily find the total number of trees in a particular area or of a particular species or variety.

The BMC has spent Rs 2.5 crore on it and work on the tree census and mapping will start next month.

In the last census in 2008, there were 19 lakh trees and this time the figure is expected to rise to 21 lakh.

So far, the census was done manually and the records too were kept manually. But now, the tress will be mapped using GPS. The botanist will measure the width, height, age and condition of the tree and it will be recorded digitally and later uploaded on the GPS. Only trees above 10 feet in height will be considered.

An official from the BMC said, “Using the system, we will be able to ascertain the exact location of the trees. The age and the condition of the trees will be available. This will help in reducing the cases of illegal tree cutting.”

He also added that the trees from the national park would not be included in it. All the other trees, including those on private land, will be included in the census.

The GPS system will help the authorities to locate barren patches of land and these patches could be used to plant more trees.