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Prune trees before rain

mumbai Updated: Sep 11, 2010 02:03 IST
Sujit Mahamulkar
Sujit Mahamulkar
Hindustan Times
Prune trees before rain

The spate of tree-falling incidents in which one person died last week, has worried the municipal corporation.

It is now planning to change its schedule of tree pruning.

Mayor Shraddha Jadhav said she has asked the administration to prune the trees in the city before monsoon and not during rain. During June to August, over 1,600 trees and more than 130 branches collapsed across the city.

“Trimming should be done before the monsoon, just like the nullah-cleaning work. I have instructed the administration to start this practice from next year so that we need not witness suck incidents that take place mostly in monsoon,” Jadhav told Hindustan Times on Friday.

According to civic disaster management cell, nine people were injured and two died since June due to falling trees or branches.

Last month, Hindustan Times reported two similar incidents, prompting the BMC to plan an overhaul of its tree-pruning system. On August 16, HT reported how 19-year-old Antara Telang lost her right leg when a branch from a peepal tree came crashing down on her in Sion.

A week later, HT carried another report on Tamanna Bhojani (30), whose backbone has been crushed and several vertebrae fractured when a branch from a jamun tree fell on her in Kandivli.

Following the Hindustan Times campaign highlighting the problem, the BMC has taken up tree trimming exercise on a war footing. Jadhav said the civic body would be more proactive from next year to prevent such incidents during the monsoon. “The new policy regarding compensation to the victims should come up soon,” she added.

Last Saturday, Mohammed Aslam Sheikh (45), a security guard with Bharat Petroleum at the Mumbai Port Trust, was returning from visiting his comatose mother at a Nagpada hospital when a large branch from a banyan tree crashed onto his bike. He died on the spot.

On Tuesday, Rahim Basha Sheikh, a driver, died after a tree fell on his car in the Carnac Bunder area.

Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora has announced compensation of Rs 50 lakh only for Shaikh.

Chandrashekhar Rokde, deputy municipal commissioner (Garden Department), had told Hindustan Times, “We have started trimming trees on war footing.” He said that because of the heavy rainfall this year there was a rise in the tree-related accidents.

The highest number of tree-falling incidents was reported on June 16, which was 152. The maximum number of cases were reported from the island city, according to the civic reports.