The tree authority meeting held at the BMC on Thursday saw the Shiv Sena and BJP tussle over the hacking of trees to make way for the construction of Metro corridors.
Nearly, 1,100 trees were to be cut and about 1,400 trees were to be planted, according to the proposal charted for the development of Metro line III (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz) and Metro Line 2 A from DN Nagar to Dahisar. However, sources told HT that the Sena refused to play ball and put on hold approvals for 40 per cent of this proposal.
The proposal put up by the MMRDA to the tree authority for Metro Lines stated that over 5,000 trees were on the the site, of which over 2,500 trees would not be disturbed, 1,400 trees would be transplanted but 1,100 trees would have to be cut. Civic officials present in the meeting said that about 60% of the trees to be cut and the ones to be transplanted was approved and the rest will now be discussed after the site visit.
A civic official who did not wish to named, said, “There were about 21 proposals for the development of the Metro rail that required tree cutting and transplantation. The tree authority members cleared 60 per cent of the proposal and about five proposals have been put on hold, which makes for the rest. The members approved the proposals where lesser number of trees was involved but these five proposals involved cutting between 100 and 200 trees.”
Niranjan Shetty, a tree authority committee member, said, “Each proposal has to go through a proper procedure before being tabled in front of the committee and site visit is one of the parameters. When the site visit takes place, none of the members are available and then they want to keep the proposal on hold by giving excuses.”
Trushna Vishwasrao, leader of House and Sena corporator, said, “We will take a call only after we know the details of the site and also where the trees will be planted after cutting.”