India: The municipal corporation of Indian city, Pune has started a high-tech tree census on Friday to track the location, type and other details of every tree in the city. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will use Geographical Information System (GIS) to effectively map and enumerate the trees. The census data will be available to citizens at a click of the mouse.
Citizens will also be able to send suggestions and objections regarding the data and the administration make changes based on these, if needed.
"Citizens should contact PMC officials to share information about trees in their areas or on their properties. Trees with a circumference (girth) of more than 10cm and height of more than 3m will be recorded in the census," Ashok Ghorpade, head of the civic garden department, said.
Around 200 people will work on the project, which is expected to be completed in two years. It will be a continuous process and the data will be updated online every month. Officials said that the technology being used for the study will enable more accurate collection of data.
On March 21, 2013, the Bombay high court had directed the PMC to carry out a pilot tree census project using GIS and submit a report on it. The court had issued the directive in response to a public interest litigation regarding the destruction of the city's green cover. The census, however, was delayed because of issues in the tendering process.
When the census is completed, the data will help the PMC keep a tab on illegal tree cutting and verify replanting of trees by builders or developers.