Scenes of a smiling municipal commissioner with ex-Sheriff Nana Chudasama, distributing free saplings to citizens, might be history because the partnership between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Chudasma’s NGO ‘I Love Mumbai’ (ILM) has developed cracks.
The reason is the BMC’s refusal to give the latter saplings. The NGO, which has been distributing free saplings in the city for the past 17 years, has been told that it will be supplied only 10,000 saplings as opposed to the 35,000 saplings every year.
Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Gardens) Chandrashekhar Rokade said the NGO has failed to submit proper accounts of what it did with the saplings. “We aren’t satisfied with the accounts that the NGO has submitted about how it utilised the saplings we gave. Hence, we want to reduce the number of saplings this year.”
“We have submitted a detailed account of how many trees were distributed at every center along with the details of those who got saplings. What more does the BMC want?” asked Shaina NC, Chudasama’s daughter and BJP leader.
The BMC said that it wants to encourage other NGOs to take up sapling distribution. “We’ll ensure that more trees are distributed among other NGOs ,” said Rokade. Stung by the refusal, the NGO has now threatened to get all the saplings on its own. “If the BMC continues with this attitude, then we’ll be forced to break the association and get all our saplings from private sources, even if it costs us a bit more.”