Looking at the decreasing tree cover in the city, KD Gargote and Vidya Gargote took up a tree plantation drive quite seriously. The couple has already planted 800 trees in the Vetal Tekdi area and are determined to increase the number to more than 2,000.
"We have been taking walks on the tekdi in weekends for the past 20 years. There were tree felling in some areas and we did observe some loss in bio diversity. Since last year, we planted 800 native species like the Peepal tree, Vada (Wanoux) and limba (loa)," said Gargote.
Though the city plans thousands of trees each year, trees are still being felled. When asked what was the reason for the low survival of trees that have been planted and how they would be tacking the same, Gargote added: "Most of the times people plant trees, but then there is no after care. After realising this, we have hired two men to take care of the trees constantly. We have kept water tanks, pipes and drip irrigation systems for the plants."
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has started supplying with saplings free of cost to the couple. "Till now, many people come up with tree plantation drives but very few look after the trees after the planting is done. If everyone takes up tree planting and their care as their own responsibility, a lot of corporation's burden will reduce," added PMC officials. Many citizens are also coming up to help the couple with finances and technical expertise.
The couple is now hoping to see birds to nest in that area soon and make it their habitat. Vidya Gargote added: "The 50 acre land stretch is identified and more than 2,000 trees planted there soon. We hope to see an increase in the bio diversity with this drive, especially peacocks."