The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s tree-pruning drive has triggered a malaria scare.
The civic body started pruning trees across the city last week after Hindustan Times reported how trees and branches had fallen on people killing or seriously injuring them.
The corporation has, however, left the branches on footpaths and along the side of the road. With the leaves on these branches decaying in the rain, they could turn into a breeding ground for mosquitoes, residents fear.
“The BMC pruned all trees along the footpath last week. The branches are still lying there occupying of the footpath. With rains, the leaves and branches are soaked and it’s a mess,” said Prabhadevi resident Shakuntala Patkar. “These sites can easily turn into breeding grounds for mosquitoes.”
The BMC had recently launched a clean-up drive at mosquito-breeding sites across the city to curb the rising incidence of malaria. The wet waste left behind after pruning could lead to the creation of more such sites.
“We were told that the waste would be picked up the next day, but it’s been more than a week and it is still lying there rotting,” Anand Joshi, another resident, said. “It seems one arm of the BMC is not aware of what the other is doing.”
Additional Municipal Commissioner (Health) Manisha Mhaiskar said she would instruct civic officials to take immediate action and clear the footpaths of the rotting leaves and branches.
The BMC had launched a tree-pruning drive across the city last week after several cases of death and injuries to citizens from falling branches and trees were reported.
Corporators had also raised the issue during the BMC’s general body meeting saying the civic body should prune trees before the monsoon sets in.
On August 16, Hindustan Times had reported how 19-year-old Antara Telang lost her right leg when a branch from a peepal tree came crashing down on her in Sion.
A week later, Hindustan Times carried another report on Tamanna Bhojani (30), whose backbone was crushed when a branch from a jamun tree fell on her in Kandivli.