Surat Municipal Corporation’s Neglect: The Alarming Consequences of Insufficient Green Tree Cover

Surat, once known for its lush green landscapes, has witnessed a steady decline in its tree cover over the years


Surat : Surat, a bustling city known for its rapid urbanization and industrial growth, is facing a grave environmental crisis. Despite mounting scientific evidence linking low tree cover to adverse health effects, the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has failed to prioritize the preservation and expansion of green spaces. This article sheds light on the detrimental impact of the SMC’s negligence and highlights the urgent need for action.

The Silent Decline of Greenery

Surat, once known for its lush green landscapes, has witnessed a steady decline in its tree cover over the years. Rapid urbanization, industrialization, and the relentless pursuit of infrastructure development have taken a toll on the city’s green spaces. The SMC’s failure to enforce stringent regulations on tree preservation and encourage afforestation initiatives has exacerbated the problem, leading to an alarming scarcity of trees and greenery across the city.

As per the tree census report of the State Government, has the lowest tree cover at 7% compared to other cities in Gujarat. This means there are only 7 trees per 100 people living in Surat.

Health Consequences of Low Tree Cover

Scientific research consistently demonstrates the pivotal role of trees in improving air quality, reducing pollution, and mitigating the adverse effects of climate change. However, the citizens of Surat are paying the price for the SMC’s negligence. The lack of green tree cover has led to increased air pollution, rising temperatures, and compromised public health.

Residents are increasingly reporting respiratory ailments, allergies, and stress-related disorders, all linked to inadequate green spaces. It is disheartening to see the SMC turn a blind eye to the mounting evidence that emphasizes the importance of trees in maintaining a healthy urban environment.

“SMC needs to take up dredging of River Tapi and planting massive number of trees on both banks of the river instead of taking up such patch work projects like flood gates and other unnecessary works” said Nainesh Parekh, environmentalist and social activist.

Economic and Ecological Implications

The consequences of the SMC’s disregard for green tree cover extend beyond public health. Surat’s economy, heavily reliant on industries and commerce, is also affected by the deteriorating environmental conditions. Lack of green spaces and rampant deforestation disrupt the delicate ecological balance, leading to soil erosion, water scarcity, and a decline in biodiversity. Furthermore, the absence of tree canopies contributes to the urban heat island effect, making the city hotter and exacerbating energy consumption.

The Way Forward

It is imperative for the SMC to prioritize the restoration and expansion of green tree cover in Surat. The corporation must adopt a multi-pronged approach that includes stricter regulations on tree felling, incentivizing afforestation initiatives, and promoting community participation in tree planting drives. The SMC should collaborate with environmental organizations, experts, and citizens to develop a comprehensive urban forestry plan that ensures a sustainable and resilient city for future generations. Additionally, public awareness campaigns can educate citizens about the importance of trees and encourage them to actively participate in greening initiatives.

“The Surat Municipal Corporation’s neglect of the city’s green tree cover has serious consequences for the health and well-being of its citizens. Urgent action is required to reverse the damage caused by rampant deforestation and urbanization. It is high time for the SMC to recognize the significance of trees and take immediate measures to restore Surat’s lost greenery” said Parekh.