GHMC's green drive is mired in brown

City body hasn't met targets, has no data on saplings but aims for a record.

Hyderabad: The GHMC, which has repeatedly failed to meet its targets, faces a tough task in fulfilling its ambitious planting of 25 lakh saplings under the Haritha Haaram programme and finding a place in the record books.

The GHMC since its inception has planted about 8.97 lakh saplings at an estimated cost of Rs 20 crore. Of these 5.57 lakh were planted in 2008-09 during the tenure of Mr C.V.S.K. Sharma as commissioner. The civic body has failed to meet its targets all the other years, planting about 9 lakh saplings since 2007.

What is more, most saplings have been lost due to poor maintenance. The GHMC has few nurseries and most saplings were brought from neighbouring states at about Rs 100 per sapling.

An official from GHMC’s urban biodiversity wing said the civic body did not have the figures of saplings that survived, and of trees. Officials are transferred every year, he said by way of an explanation.

The estimated number of plants at one lakh.“Most of the trees that were uprooted in the recent storms were planted by the GHMC. This time, we are planning to plant saplings which will grow strong roots. The main reason behind the loss of saplings soon after plantation earlier was that the tree guards were stolen, and animals ate up the plants,” he said.

The bio-diversity wing tried to plant 50 lakh saplings last year but deferred the plan due to lack of saplings and poor rainfall. In the end, not a single sapling was planted in 2015-16 in the city by GHMC.

GHMC mayor Bonthu Rammohan told this newspaper the corporation would not repeat its mistakes of the past. “This time we are placing the responsibility on the contractor to maintain the saplings for three years. If they fail to save the saplings, they will be punished as per rules,” he said.

The plantation drive will start from July 11. “We are planning to hand over saplings to 65,000 households. We shall plant saplings in the premises of 86 government institutions including 45 belonging to the Central government, and universities. Besides, the GHMC will plant saplings along the banks of the Musi, beside roads, inside parks and at educational institutes,” he said.

He said there was no need to purchase saplings. HMDA nurseries have more than 3 crore saplings and the GHMC itself has 50 lakh, Mr Rammohan said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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