The civic body, in a recent inspection, has found that 3,540 trees in the city have been concretised or asphalted at their base, leaving no space for water to enter, making them more likely to collapse as in the absence of water, the roots become weak.
The survey was conducted after a 24-year-old woman and her six-month-old child were crushed under a banyan tree at Nariman Point in July.
“After we found the root system of these trees were affected badly, I asked the ward staff to remove the paver or asphalt around such trees,” said municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar. He has also given directions to prune trees alongside roads to prevent them from falling and damaging idols or hurting crowds during Ganeshotsav.
Following a spate of tree-falling incidents that killed or injured people, corporators of the standing committee of the civic body asked for an audit of the 19.17 lakh trees in the city.
In the survey, 238 trees were tagged ‘precarious’. Corporators feel the number is too small and a fresh survey needs to be carried out.
Recently, Milestone Capital CEO Ved Prakash Arya, 41, was killed after a coconut tree in a civic garden at Versova fell on him. Bharatiya Janata Party corporator Ashish Shelar said despite appointing several expert committees, the problem persists.
As per BMC’s tree census conducted two years ago, out of the 19.17 lakh trees, 3.77 lakh are on government land, 10, 38, 629 on private land, 72, 570 trees on industrial land, 50, 332 trees in gardens, 1.58lakh on roads and remaining 2.13 lakh trees on other land lots.
Additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta said guidelines are being drafted about maintaining breathing space around trees, and will be submitted to concerned departments.