A team of civic officials who visited the site of the proposed National Museum of Indian Cinema at Peddar Road on Saturday, asked the construction company to plant 25 trees on the campus within a fortnight.
Residents in the area had expressed anguish over the civic body’s permission to cut 54 trees on the Films Division campus where the site is located. They feared that the 100-odd trees that are 80 to 100 years old could be cut to make way for the museum. The Hindustan Times had reported this on Friday.
“We did not find any violations at the site. They are supposed to plant 108 trees, so I have asked them to plant 25 trees first and then after visiting the site again, we will give them permission for further action,” said Chandrashekhar Rokde, deputy municipal commissioner (gardens). They have been instructed to plant trees that will go up to 15 feet high. “It will cost them Rs10 lakh to plant these trees as they are quite expensive,” Rokde added.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had given permission to cut 54 trees and transplant 19 of them for the construction of the film museum. But Peddar Road residents were worried about losing a green patch in their vicinity. The central government is in the process of building a world-class film museum.
“It is a good thing, but the birds that used to flock there will not come back once the trees are gone. We had peacocks and parrots coming to our area,” said Hoshang Maneckshaw, manager, St Helen’s Court, an adjoining building.
An official from Films Division, requesting anonymity, said, “Residents should have approached us first. Everything is done by central government authorities and as per the rules. Members of one society had come to us and we cleared their doubts. Our office makes it a point to plant 100 saplings every year and we even have a special fund for it.”