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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Watch out for trees swaying dangerously, falling branches

Reetika Subramanian and Vaishnavi Vasudevan, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 06, 2012
First Published: 01:56 IST(6/7/2012) | Last Updated: 01:57 IST(6/7/2012)

Large trees resting on weak superficial roots, dead trees leaning towards the main road, and dead tree barks that are on the brink of collapse….

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Though the civic body has cut 340 dead trees and pruned over 12,000 since June, the possibility of accidents due to falling trees or branches remains high on account of unscientific trimming methods and poor space management, feel tree experts who conducted an audit on Wednesday on the vulnerability of trees in some busy areas of the city. Civic officials have admitted that there are limitations in handling the tree-pruning exercise.

A panel of two experts constituted by HT comprising Avinash Kubal, deputy director of Maharashtra Nature Park and Dr Vidyadhar Ogale, former member of BMC’s Tree Authority Committee, visited several areas in the city. “Even as the civic body is undertaking its massive tree-pruning drive, several trees continue to be on the brink of collapse,” said Kubal.

There have been more than seven incidents of tree branch falls since Monday on St Anthony’s road in Chembur (east), used by hundreds of school children every day. On P D’mello Road in south Mumbai, which reported two separate instances of deaths caused by tree falls in 2010, several overgrown trees lean towards the main road as superficial roots supporting them underneath.

“The overgrown trees have spread their roots underneath, directly affecting the stormwater drainage system and other utility cables,” said Ameet Satam, Tree Authority member. “This has led to a rise in tree-fall incidents in the city.” Kubal said: “People should educate themselves about types of trees to understand which are vulnerable. They also need to keep ward officials informed about any vulnerable trees.”


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