City losing its green cover!


Team Udayavani, Jun 24, 2019, 12:55 PM IST

Mangaluru: The trees in the city are being axed in the name of development and of the 60 wards with Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) limits, Bunder and Kudroli wards have the least green cover.

Only a mere 0.5% area in Kudroli and Bunder wards has trees. The Forest Department is now considering this issue seriously and has planned to plant around 100 saplings in the two wards during the current year. Since there is a greater density of buildings in Bunder area, there is a lack of space for planting additional trees. Yet, inspection is being conducted to identify spots where the saplings may be planted.

Speaking with ‘Udayavani’, Mangaluru Zone Forest Officer Shridhar said, a few years back, NITTE (Deemed to be University) had conducted a survey in 2016 as part of the census of 2011. On this occasion, it was learnt that the green cover at Kudroli and Bunder was the least in the city. In 2001, MCC limits had a green cover of 22%, in 2011 it was 20% and by 2018 it has dropped to 18%. Around 2-3% of the greenery in the city is being lost within 7-8 years, he informed.

In 2011, a research on the topic “Tree, People and City: A study on Green covers of rapidly urbanizing Mangalore city” was conducted by Assistant Professor Sangeeta S of Nitte Institute of Architecture under the guidance of Dr. Smitha Hegde, who is the Professor at Nitte University Centre for Science Education and Research.

Speaking regarding this, Dr Smitha said, we had undertaken this research with the aim to find out how much greenery was required in the city when the ‘Smart City’ project was being introduced. It was then learnt that only 0.5% of area in Bunder and Kudroli ward contained trees. The survey was conducted based on the satellite images of 2008 and 2016. Some areas in the city have a higher density of trees. But, since the people density is even more and hence there is no equilibrium, she said.

Any city must have a minimum green cover of 33%. But the city has only 18% of greenery. Moreover, the green cover in the state is also reducing, now standing at 23%.

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