The Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) has drafted a new policy for real estate developers undertaking construction activities in the city. The move is aimed at increasing the city’s green cover.
The new policy entails mandatory plantation of trees equivalent to the age of the trees that the developers chop at the construction site. For example, if a developer chops a 20-year-old tree, then he must plant 20 saplings — some within that same premises and the rest at the location identified by the civic body. Moreover, the developers must maintain these trees for seven years.
Under the previous policy, builders had to pay a nominal deposit of Rs 1,000 for each tree to the NMC for new plantation in lieu of the trees chopped by the builders while constructing any building. This enabled them to acquire an NoC from the civic body.
Although it was essential for the builders to plant saplings, the rule was rarely adhered to. As per the new policy, NMC officials will make spot visits to check whether the saplings have been planted and the civic body will give the building completion certificates only after the inspection of the trees planted 4 years ago.
NMC officials said they have introduced this new policy in a bid to increase and maintain the green cover of the city. The civic body has also issued a circular about the new policy that came into effect last week.
For the state, the green cover should be at least 33%, but there are no specific provisions on how much green cover cities should have. In the case of Nashik city, the green cover, at present, is 24%. Nashik city has around 50 lakh trees as per the survey conducted a few years back. “Our objective is to increase the green cover of the city up to 30%. For that, we would need to plant another 10 lakh trees in the city,” a civic official said.
Senior member and former president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (Credai) Umesh Wankhede welcomed the new policy of planting trees that would be equivalent to the age of the trees that the developers chop at the construction site.
“This is really a good decision as it is necessary to increase the green cover of the city. There is no problem with the survival of trees once they cross the first two-three years. Therefore, the clause of the time limit for maintaining trees should be reduced from the current seven years to three years,” said Wankhede, who is also the chairperson of the real estate committee of Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (MACCIA).