Several city trees in dangerous condition, says HT expert panel
If you're walking on Mumbai's streets, you would do well to guard yourself from falling branches or trees.mumbai Updated: Jul 06, 2012 02:03 IST
If you're walking on Mumbai's streets, you would do well to guard yourself from falling branches or trees.
Over the past seven days, 225 trees have reportedly fallen in the city - a 24-year-old working professional succumbed to injuries when a tree fell on her in Lower Parel. When a panel of two experts formed by Hindustan Times visited several crowded areas in the city on Wednesday, it discovered that haphazard concretisation over the past few years and unscientific tree trimming carried out by the civic body, has left several trees in dangerous condition.
"Development in the city has been one-sided. Even as footpaths have been concretised and new buildings erected, not much attention has been paid to the existing trees that have spread out their roots underneath," said Avinash Kubal, deputy director of Maharashtra Nature Park, one of the panel members. "Over the years, the tree roots have weakened and the balance of the large trees has been affected on account of the imbalance of soil levels," he added.
The panel visited spots across the suburbs and island city, where tree-pruning activities have already been going on over the past two months. "On several busy roads, we observed fully grown trees leaning towards the main road, roots of trees weakened by the pressure of heavy branches and dead trees deserted on the road," said panelist Dr Vidyadhar Ogale.
Civic officials agreed with the experts' remarks, but said that it was difficult to cut all potentially dangerous trees.
"Concrete development and heavy showers are the primary reasons for tree falls in the city," said Suhas Karwande, deputy municipal commissioner (DMC), gardens department. "We have already cut 340 dangerous trees and pruned over 12,000 trees before the onset of monsoon. There are some practical difficulties. We cannot cut down all vulnerable trees until and unless they are completely dead."