Three days after Hindustan Times reported that the civic body had pruned trees and left branches on the footpath to rot, the corporation has assured citizens this will not be the scene next year.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to buy at least a dozen machines to shred pruned branches.
The BMC had only one such machine for the city.
“One machine is not enough for the city. We have decided to buy 12 to 13 small machines in a year, at least one for two wards,” deputy municipal commissioner (gardens) Chandrashekhar Rokde said.
The corporation had launched a tree-pruning drive a fortnight ago after reports of branches falling on people and seriously injuring or even killing them.
The BMC trimmed branches of trees but left them on the side of the road or on footpaths. The leaves and branches got wet in the rain and started decaying.
Hindustan Times had on September 13 reported that citizens had expressed fears that these decaying branches and leaves could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and spread malaria.
The BMC has now said it will clear the branches in the next two to three days.
The BMC had blamed the piling up of cut branches on footpaths on the shortage of manpower and shredding machines.
“There was no place to dump these branches,” Rokde said. “The municipal commissioner has now allowed us to dump them on the civic dumping grounds.” The machine will shred the branches and grind them to a powder, to be used as compost in civic gardens.
This year saw the highest number of tree-falling incidents. More than 1,600 trees and 130 branches fell between June and August, according to the civic disaster management cell.
Nine people have been injured and two have died since June because of falling trees or branches.
On August 16, Hindustan Times had reported how 19-year-old Antara Telang lost her right leg when a branch fell on her in Sion in July. A week later, HT carried a report on Tamanna Bhojani (30), whose backbone was crushed when a branch fell on her in Kandivli in June.
On September 5, 45-year-old Mohammed Aslam Shaikh died when a tree fell on him at Carnac Bunder. Three days later, 50-year-old Rahim Shaikh died when a tree fell on the car he was sitting in on P D’Mello Road and crushed it.