Corporators say tree-cutting proposal cleared in a hurry
The tree authority of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, on Tuesday, cleared 37 proposals involving the cutting of 584 trees.mumbai Updated: Apr 04, 2012 01:46 IST
The tree authority of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, on Tuesday, cleared 37 proposals involving the cutting of 584 trees. "If an infrastructure project requires trees to be cut, the tree authority's approval is sought. Also, the agency carrying out the work has to deposit money with the BMC depending on the number of trees being cut, which is returned once the replanting of uprooted trees has been done successfully," said Suhas Karwande, deputy municipal commissioner (garden), BMC.
Some corporators are unhappy with the proposals. "Former members of the tree authority inspected the site where trees are to be cut for metro projects. But, we became suspicious when it was stated that 30 trees needed to be cut at each site. We asked for two days' time for the newly formed authority to inspect. But, the administration went ahead with the proposals," said Ameet Satam, tree authority member and BJP corporator.
He said transplantation of trees often does not take place as desired. "Most of the time, agencies do not come back to the BMC to claim their deposit," Satam said. However, Shiv Sena group leader in the BMC and tree authority member, Yashodhar Phanse, said, "There will be scrutiny of trees transplanted every three months and we will introduce a fine," Phanse said. As per BMC regulations, for every tree cut, two have to be transplanted at a different location.
Environmentalists opposed the tree authority's decision. "One can't come in the way of progress, but there has not been any audit to examine if adequate number of trees were transplanted," said Niranjan Shetty, member of I Love Mumbai, an NGO.