BMC to spend Rs 1.25 cr to pick up trees | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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BMC to spend Rs 1.25 cr to pick up trees

The cash-strapped Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will spend Rs 1.25 crore only on transporting trees that fall or are cut during the monsoon, reports Sujit Mahamulkar.

mumbai Updated: Jun 09, 2010 01:11 IST
Sujit Mahamulkar

The cash-strapped Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will spend Rs 1.25 crore only on transporting trees that fall or are cut during the monsoon.

The corporation could use this money to build a dozen public toilets or a half-km stretch of a cement and concrete road.

A proposal to appoint contractors for the job was passed during a meeting of the Tree Authority on Monday.

Niranjan Shetty, a member of the authority, raised a point of order saying the cost of the proposal was too high. “Cutting of branches is done by the BMC staff. Then what is the need to appoint contractors just to transport them?” Shetty asked.

Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Markets and Gardens) Chandrashekhar Rokde justified the BMC's decision saying, "If branches and fallen trees are not cleared on time then they choke the drains leading to flooding."

The practice of awarding contracts to transport fallen trees started in 2005. The sum of Rs 1.25 crore will be spent only on the western and eastern suburbs. Nine wards in the island city will get less than Rs 5 lakh each for it. Twenty-seven trees have collapsed in pre-monsoon showers in the last two days. Five of these were in the island city, three in the eastern suburbs and 19 in the western suburbs.

Last monsoon, 1,538 incidents of falling of trees was reported. The maximum, 741, were again in the western suburbs.

The contract to collect and transport these trees is valid only for five months and the contactors have to provide two trucks for every ward and depute sufficient manpower.

The BMC’s Solid Waste Management (SWM) department gives the contracts, which Shetty argued was equipped to do the job. “The SWM department has sufficient staff for the job so why does the civic body want to waste so much money?”