Ignoring citizens’ protests, the civic tree authority committee has cleared the proposal to axe 34 healthy trees that would have come in the way of construction of a proposed blast-proof wall outside the main gate of Mantralaya.
Irked citizens and green activists have submitted a letter to municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte, demanding a review of the decision.
On April 16, Hindustan Times had reported on how a public notice on the issue had been published in a daily, inviting citizens’ suggestions and objections. Based on the notice, citizens had approached civic officials, demanding alternative measures to protect the 34 trees.
Last month, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had organised a public hearing, where citizens had expressed their discontent on the hacking.
“The officials had told us that the proposal would be reviewed. However, without heeding to our demands, the committee has cleared the proposal,” said activist Anil Galgali from Athak Seva Sangh, who submitted his complaint to the commissioner on Thursday.
“I fear that the promise of planting the trees elsewhere is a farce. In every committee meeting, proposals to hack thousands of trees get approved. But, there is no status report on the fate of the trees,” he said.
Civic officials, however, said that efforts would be taken to protect the green cover.
“The proposal was cleared after analysing and understanding the suggestions and objections. The trees that will be uprooted will be replanted or transplanted,” said Kamlashankar Yadav, superintendent of gardens.