BMC plans to revise rules for pruning trees | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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BMC plans to revise rules for pruning trees

mumbai Updated: Aug 18, 2010 01:37 IST
Kunal Purohit
municipal body

The municipal body has decided to overhaul its tree-pruning process after a peepul tree branch, badly in need of a trim, fell on 18-year-old Antara Telang and crushed her leg so badly that it had to be amputated.

The move comes two days after Hindustan Times reported about the Xavier's student's accident, which took place in Sion.

On Tuesday, officers from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's garden department surveyed and pruned the peepul tree and submitted a preliminary report to Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner.

Gupta, who has initiated the overhaul, said: "I have instructed the deputy municipal commissioner (gardens) to submit a report on the flaws in the current mechanism of tree-pruning and suggest ways to improve it."

The inquiry revealed that officials had inspected the peepul tree previously but not pruned it. "Our officials inspected the tree but didn't find it dangerous enough to be trimmed. Locals had also objected to its trimming, citing religious reasons," Gupta said.

The peepul tree in Bansri Bhavan building is adorned with photos of deities and has white threads tied around it.

Gupta admits the current process of visually inspecting a tree and deciding whether it needs to be trimmed is flawed. "We need a more scientific process," he said.

"Existing rules say that at a local ward level, the horticulture officer is supposed to keep a vigil and do four trimmings through a year. The branches on all sides must be trimmed," said Dr Nilesh Baxi, a Tree Authority member.