Apart from a boost to the big-ticket water and infrastructure projects, the civic budget presented on Tuesday also made provisions for tree trimming.
For the first time, Rs70 lakh has been allocated for purchase of tree trimming vans.
Till now, local citizen groups and Advanced Locality Managements (ALMs) had been keeping a watch on the trees and informing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) of the ones that needed to be pruned.
Tree authority officials and environmentalists have welcomed the move. HT had carried a series of reports last year on BMC apathy in pruning of trees that led to accidents and even deaths.
Calling this provision a progressive move, Niranjan Shetty, member of tree authority of BMC, said: “This is a step in the right direction. There is a need to carry out the operation on a larger scale.”
Recruitment of more junior tree officials to supervise the operations and a van for each administrative ward were among the many measures that were proposed by tree authority officials in the pre-budgetary meetings, said Shetty.
“Earlier, if the BMC wanted to carry out tree trimming operations, it would have to hire vans from private agencies. Now, the civic body would be able to carry out the operations effectively on a regular basis,” said Shetty.
Avinash Kubal, deputy director, Maharashtra Nature Park Society, said: “Logistics of man power and van drivers need to be worked out in a better way for it to succeed on the ground level.”