IN ORDER to increase the survival rate of transplanted trees, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may soon buy a machine from Singapore. Officials from the gardens department of the civic body said a presentation was made in this regard to members of the Tree Authority on Wednesday. “The presentation was about the method of tree transplantation used by the civic body and its survival rate. We also looked at the methods and technologies used the world over, and their survival ratios,” said an official from the gardens department.
“The tree transplantation technology used in Singapore is recognised globally and has a high survival rate. We want to increase the survival rate of trees transplanted in Mumbai from 70 per cent to 90 per cent,” added the official.
The cost of the machine is approximately Rs 15 crore.
Another senior official said the method used in Singapore is completely different from the one in practice in Mumbai. “We cut the roots of a tree and some branches and then the tree goes for transplantation. That’s why the survival rate is low. In the method used in Singapore, they pull out the tree with roots and the soil around it altogether. They do not disturb the roots or the soil. So, there is less stress on the tree during the transplantation, which might account for better survival,” said the official.
Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta said, “I have asked the gardens department to get the specifications of the technology. Then, we will see whether it is a viable option for us.”
The civic body’s move comes at a time when environmentalists have opposed tree-cutting and transplantation for the Metro III project in the city. Environmentalists have expressed concern over shrinking Mumbai’s green cover and the low survival rate of transplanted trees.
Experts said the civic body must make efforts to increase the survival rate of trees. “The civic body needs to make huge efforts to increase the survival ratio. The survival rate of trees is very less,” said Niranjan Shetty, former tree authority member.