A day after a woman and her six-month-old baby were killed when a tree outside CR2 mall, Nariman Point, fell on them, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started the blame game.
Although claiming that new scientific guidelines will be framed to reduce such mishaps once again, the civic body held the management of the mall responsible for the accident.
Manisha Bhansali, 27, and her six-month-old baby, Aarvi, were crushed by a banyan tree on Sunday night. The family will get Rs 1 lakh compensation.
"The owners of the premise should have come to us for permissions for pruning of trees. We cannot be surveying the entire city," said Suhas Karvande, deputy municipal commissioner, gardens, adding that the pruning system was in place, and there were enough horticulturists to assist their staff.
On Monday, Hanumant Raje, a former tree authority member and horticulture consultant of the Mumbai Airport, examined the uprooted banyan tree.
Raje told Hindustan Times that the 60-year-old tree was gradually killed due to heavy concretisation in the area. Also, the roots had grown weak due to cutting.
"Most trees in the city are in a similar state. It is like killing a human by strangulation. The roots of the [banyan] tree had grown very weak and couldn't hold on to the soil," he said.
Raje will be submitting a report to the civic body, which will be used to frame the new guidelines.
The guidelines will ensure that 1.5m space around the trunk of the tree is not concretised or covered by paverblocks. Also, no utilities will be allowed 3m beneath the tree.
"The size of the uncovered space near the tree trunk will depend on the tree species," said additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta.
The civic body will also consult other tree experts before framing the guidelines.
Although CR2 officials were not available for comments, officials at Inox theatre said the responsibility of pruning trees was on the mall as they had just leased the space.