699 trees to be chopped | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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699 trees to be chopped

The upcoming Monorail promises to carry commuters across the city in air-conditioned comfort, temporarily immune from Mumbai’s sweltering heat.

mumbai Updated: May 16, 2010 01:00 IST
Zeeshan Shaikh

The upcoming Monorail promises to carry commuters across the city in air-conditioned comfort, temporarily immune from Mumbai’s sweltering heat.

It will also lead to 699 trees being axed to make way for its construction.

For construction of the 19.54-km Monorail, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will chop around 699 tress between Jacob Circle and Wadala, and trim another 369. Another 493 will be transplanted.

“We will have to chop 699 tress, and 369 will need to be trimmed as they are obstructing construction of the Monorail,” MMRDA spokesperson Dilip Kawathkar said.

Work on the Monorail —which will run from Jacob Circle to Chembur via Wadala, to be built at a cost of Rs 2,450 cr by the L&T-SCOMI consortium — began in December 2008. Its depleting tree cover has been instrumental in sending the city’s average temperatures surging. MMRDA has approached the BMC’s Tree Authority, which is in the process of giving permissions for the cutting of those trees.

Existing laws say trees that obstruct infrastructure projects need to be transplanted. Where trees are chopped off, new ones need to be planted.

Under the BMC’s current Tree Act, two new trees need to be planted for every tree cut.

MMRDA has said it will plant 1,400 new trees to make up for the 699 it will cut.

“We will plant 1,400 trees at Mahim Nature Park, Wadala Depot, HPCL Mahul and BPCL Mahul,” Kawathkar said.

On an average, in Mumbai, nearly 5,500 trees are chopped every year to make way for infrastructure projects.