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Maharashtra seeks proof of massive plantation drive: ‘use drones to take photos, videos of sites’

The authorities have been asked to use drone cameras to capture videos and images of tree plantation sites that are larger than one hectare, and upload them on the state forest department’s website.

Written by Ajay Jadhav | Pune |
June 29, 2018 4:23:59 am
Maharashtra seeks proof of massive plantation drive: ‘use drones to take photos, videos of sites’ Forest Department has directed authorities involved in the drive to take ‘good-quality’ photos.

As the Maharashtra government pursues its ambitious target of planting 50 crore trees in five years, and 13 crore trees this year, it has directed various authorities involved in the exercise to furnish proof. The authorities have been asked to use drone cameras to capture videos and images of tree plantation sites that are larger than one hectare, and upload them on the state forest department’s website.

The plantation drive takes place in July every year. The department has also asked the authorities to take ‘good quality’ photographs, and to make geo-referenced video recordings to pinpoint the actual site.

“If the plantation site is larger than one hectare, then at least four photographs and one 10-second video clip of the plantation area should be uploaded on the forest department’s site. If the area is more than five hectares, then the photographs should be taken from each corner as well as from the centre, along with the video clip, to give a perfect picture of the plantation site,” stated the forest department.

Deputy forest conservators have been entrusted the task of making arrangements to shoot the geo-referenced video of the plantation site within their respective jurisdictions. The forest department has, however, specified that the rules laid down by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation should be strictly followed, and permission of local district administration or the controlling authority of the plantation site should be sought, before using the drone cameras.

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If the plantation sites are close to sensitive zones like airport, defence establishments or other high-security areas, then permission of the local police has to be taken, said the forest department.

The department is also going to appoint a coordinator officer in the region under each chief conservator of forest, to coordinate the plantation drive and furnish daily reports to the department headquarters. “The decision to upload geo-referenced videos of the plantation site on the website has been taken to ensure that anyone can visit and verify the actual site. This will keep the process transparent and make the concerned authority accountable,” said Deputy Conservator of Forest, Pune, A Shreelaxmi.

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First published on: 29-06-2018 at 04:23:59 am
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