After giving permission for over 3,300 trees to be cut this year, the city’s municipality now wants to spend Rs 1.5 crore to transplant 100 trees, to be brought in from Andhra Pradesh.
To make the purchase, members of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Tree Authority and representatives of its Gardens Department will visit the Rajmundry nursery in Andhra Pradesh.
Asked why the BMC is focusing on transplanting grown trees instead of planting saplings, Acting Municipal Commissioner R A Rajeev reasoned: “Today’s generation is restless and wants quick results. So, instead of waiting for a sapling to grow into a tree, we have decided to plant grown trees in different parts of the city.”
The BMC group will visit the nursery in 15 days and a budgetary allocation of Rs 1.5 crore has been made for the transplant.
This being the first visit, the group will buy 100 trees, 5 to 6 feet tall.
These trees will be used to beautify medians and footpaths across the city. Green activists in the city are up in arms against the BMC’s idea.
Debi Goenka, convenor of the Bombay Environment Action Group, said: “Transplanting of full-grown trees has been a complete failure. It is a waste of money.” Such transplanted trees need to be quarantined for 30 days before transplantation.
Environmentalist Rishi Agarwal echoed that sentiment: “This is the most ridiculous proposal the civic body has suggested.”
Green activists say since the survival rate of transplanted trees in the city has not been particularly encouraging, the BMC should refrain from spending resources on transplantation.
Last week, four of the 41 trees transplanted from the Shivaji Park swimming pool died. The BMC also wants to create tree banks across the city.
Tree banks will basically be small nurseries that will nourish and strengthen saplings before they are distributed during the BMC’s monthly plantation drives.
(inputs by Soubhik Mitra)