Thane: The locals undertook an initiative for the maintenance of around 40,000 trees planted by the forest department, which were on the verge of dying at the Umbarli village that falls between Kalyan and Ambernath stretch.
Around 40,000 trees had been planted within the hilly area of the Umbarli village by the forest department 3-4 years ago; however, on December 9, around 2000 trees were destroyed in the fire which broke out accidentally.
However, the villagers claim that although a huge number of trees have been planted, they are on the verge of being destroyed due to lack of maintenance by the forest department.
"After noticing their condition, many locals from the nearby villagers came together to maintain these trees from the last two years. The group of local villagers from Umbarli, Sonarpada and Dawdi are watering these plants every morning for around two hours with the help of a nearby water resource. Around 15 -20 villagers, from every age group, join hands to protect these trees. Besides, even the morning walkers who visit this area contribute in maintaining these trees," said Bhaskar Patil, a local from the Sonarpada village.
The trees have been planted within the forest area which falls between the Kalyan and Ambernath stretch.
"Though we are trying to protect these species of trees by contributing two hours every day covering around 1000 of trees daily; however, if they are maintained by the forest department, it will give more productive results with a good growth of the trees, as many are into the verge of dying. Meanwhile, proper security and regular inspections are needed to curb fire incidents in the forest area, causing harm to the trees," Mukesh Patil, another local from Umbarli, said.
However, the official claimed that at present the trees are being maintained properly under the inspection of volunteers from the NGO.
"The forest area where these trees has been planted was recently cleaned by removing unwanted shrubs and watering. Meanwhile, the volunteers of a local NGO are being allocated the responsibility of maintaining these trees and carrying out regular inspections," said Kalpana Waghere, forest range officer at the Kalyan Taluka.