India: The Greater Chennai Corporation has decided to conduct an extensive survey using Geographic Information System (GIS) to prepare a tree plantation strategy for coping with future disasters. The survey will help protect trees and cope with future disasters. The strategy will also be integrated with the Smart Cities Mission proposals.
The decision was taken on Friday, following a brainstorming session with NGOs, research scholars and scientists. The civic body is set to collect comprehensive information relating to trees using GIS. The city is yet to have a comprehensive database of trees.
The collection of information through GIS has been done by NGOs in ward 176 of Adyar zone. Similar surveys will be conducted in all the 200 wards in the city before chalking out the tree plantation strategy. “We will prepare a detailed project report shortly,” said Corporation Commissioner and Special Officer D. Karthikeyan.
According to participants in the brainstorming session, the damage to trees in many parts of the city was caused because the right trees were not planted.
The Corporation will rope in NGOs and residents’ associations to preserve trees. Corporation officials will advise residents not to remove trees on their premises and offer technical assistance to improve green cover in each area.
Many residents have started removing trees and reducing green cover on their premises after Cyclone Vardah. According to Development Regulation 32 of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, the authorities issuing planning permission and building approval may issue a tree preservation order to save green cover in any private area.
A number of participants at the brainstorming session also stressed the need for identifying species of trees suitable for each road in residential areas developed along beaches, hills, marshes or waterbodies.