Days after residents of Peddar Road expressed concern over the chopping of trees in the Films Division premises to facilitate the construction of the National Museum of Indian Cinema, the civic body transplanted 19 of the 45 trees cut in the area.
The trees were transplanted within the same premises on Sunday, following an order on January 15 from deputy municipal commissioner Chandrashekhar Rokde that 25 trees be planted in 15 days.
Amol Vasaikar, junior tree officer of D Ward, confirmed that 19 trees were transplanted on Sunday but refused to comment further. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) gave permission to cut 54 trees from the premises for the construction of the museum, which is of Indian Cinema, a project by the Union ministry of information and broadcasting to celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema in 2013.
The Hindustan Times had reported earlier this month about Peddar Road residents protesting the construction of this museum because they are worried that the only green patch in the area will be lost to construction.
“Forty-five trees have been cut so far and we were told that more trees will not be cut. But we worry about it because the trees were cut even before the BMC granted permission,” Sandeep Parikh, member, Peddar Road Residents’ Association, said.
The BMC had said that the firm constructing the museum would have to transplant 19 trees and plant 108 within the premises within 30 days after cutting them. The rules say anybody cutting a tree has to plant two.
V Packirisamy, director of Films Division, confirmed that the work of transplanting trees had begun on Sunday and would go on until all the trees were transplanted or replanted.
Some residents met municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar on Friday requesting him to look into the matter and shift the museum to the western suburbs. “We told him that permissions were given for cutting trees without taking residents into confidence,” a resident said.