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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Soon, see state’s green gains online

Mumbai: Even as it fights a looming drought crisis and a depleting green cover, the state government is keen to showcase its afforestation efforts and has decided to upload on the internet pictorial proof of its successful tree plantation drives. 

    The decision was taken in a review meeting on next year's green target by chief secretary J K Banthia on Tuesday. The GPS mapping of 800 sites is completed and the data will be uploaded to allow its public viewing from February 28. 
    Officials hope that once the data is in the public domain, it will address concerns currently being raised over government efforts to increase the forest cover. There 
are allegations that not enough trees are planted . 
    "Even as the survival rate for the newly planted forests and trees was as high as 91 per cent in 2012, there were still accusations that not enough was being done to save the green cover," a senior government official said. "Now with the GPS images, what we are planting and where will be there for everyone to see." 

    The GPS website will give the time, date and location of places where efforts have been taken to improve the green cover. The government will also undertake a thirdparty audit of the new green cover created in 2012. 
    The forest department planted 7.4 crore new trees last year; the target this year is 20 crore trees by the onset of the monsoon.

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