Even as it announced a compensation policy for tree-fall victims, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started cracking down on owners of private premises that have dangerously overgrown trees.
In the past week, the BMC has surveyed and sent notices to 300-odd private properties, ordering them to prune their trees immediately.
Following the spate of branch and tree collapse incidents this monsoon, which have grievously injured two Mumbaiites and killed two others, the municipal corporation has invoked a little-known Section 383 of the BMC Act, 1881, which allows
it to survey private premises and order owners to trim the trees.
“Once they get the notice, property owners should take appropriate action in 15 days or they will have to pay penalty,” said Chandrashekhar Rokade, deputy municipal commissioner (gardens).
After the stipulated time frame, the civic body will trim the tree and recover the cost from the errant owner, who will also have to pay a fine of up to Rs 5,000.
“We will continue surveying premises,” said Rokade.
In the past two months, as reported in Hindustan Times, St Xavier’s College student Antara Telang (18) lost her right leg and Kandivli resident Tamanna Bhojani (30) fractured her backbone because of untrimmed trees on private properties.
Following these incidents and the death of two men —Mohammed Aslam Sheikh (45) and Rahim Shaikh (50) — in tree collapses, Mayor Shraddha Jadhav had ordered the BMC to prune trees throughout the year instead of just before the monsoon.