Irked with the damage caused to trees by advertisements and political banners, environmentalists have now approached civic bodies in the city and Navi Mumbai, asking them to take action.
Navi Mumbai environmentalist Ajay Marthe recently filed a complaint with the tree authority of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). “Nails are being hammered into the trees to fix the banners. Despite several complaints to the tree department, no action has been taken,” said Marathe, adding people should take up the responsibility of protecting at least one tree around them from such acts.
A case in point could be a spot opposite the Bombay Veterinary College in Parel. “Nailing any advertisement to a tree is an offence. We have taken action over such banners. Close to 350 advertisements were removed from various areas in Mulund over the last month,” said Vijay Hire, superintendent of gardens, BMC.
According to an order issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in April 2013, trees should not be used to support advertisements or banners. “We are mulling a contempt petition against NGT Delhi for allegedly ignoring the flouting of the law,” said Marathe.
Vijay Kamble, superintendent of gardens, NMMC, said, “Based on the complaint, the tree officer has issued letters to all ward officers under the NMMC, intimating them to remove banners and signboards from different sectors in Navi Mumbai.”
Kamble said the process of removing the banners will be completed in 8-10 days. “We have asked the civic body to introduce a clause disallowing advertising on trees in all advertising contracts,” he said.
Hire said the numbers displayed in the advertisements put up on trees will be given to the local police station. “A police complaint will be filed against the advertiser,” he said.