Civic body admits Wadala tree had been identified as dangerous | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Civic body admits Wadala tree had been identified as dangerous

A week after a tree branch in Wadala fell on a person, injuring him, the civic body has admitted that the tree had been identified as dangerous, but could not be trimmed on time.

mumbai Updated: Jun 12, 2012 00:43 IST
Nikhil M Ghanekar

A week after a tree branch in Wadala fell on a person, injuring him, the civic body has admitted that the tree had been identified as dangerous, but could not be trimmed on time.

In its report, civic body had said: "The tree that collapsed was identified as dangerous after complaints, but fell before trimming.”

The report, prepared by Sanjay Kurhade, assistant municipal commissioner F-north ward, said "public interference and traffic,” are the main impediments to trimming dangerous trees in time. "More often than not, traffic congestion does not allow us to trim a tree in time, while citizens ask us not to trim a tree that is healthy according to them,” said Kurhade.

On June 5, Vikhroli resident Santosh Chikane was injured after the branch fell on him at Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Marg. Chikane escaped with a swollen right shoulder and bruises caused by the sharp end of the branch. However, every year, in the monsoon, there are instances of citizens being killed or severly injured in tree collapses.

As part of their pre-monsoon preparations, the BMC had trimmed 12,000 trees as of June 6, and have pruned and cut 340 dangerous trees till May 31. Since 2008, the BMC received 1049 complaints of trees getting uprooted or their branches breaking off.

Nikhil Desai, 60, member of the F-north citizens’ forum, said he had written to ward officials about trimming the tree whose branch fell on Chikane. "People object only if a healthy tree is trimmed heavily. The true picture is the opposite of what civic officials said. Citizens point out dangerous trees,” he said.

"There are trees located on the footpath but their branches reach out in the adjacent housing societies. In such instances, residents often argue with our officials and want us to not cut the overgrown branches,” said Vijay Hire, deputy superintendent of gardens, BMC.

Suggesting that the BMC trim trees three to four times a year, Nilesh Baxi, former member, tree authority, said: "Traffic problems cannot be wished away. Every year, they wake up late to trimming activities.”