MMRC set to plant 20,000 trees in Mumbai’s Sanjay Gandhi National Park
According to the agreement, MMRC would be paying SGNP for planting and maintaining the trees for a period of seven years.mumbai Updated: Dec 24, 2017 23:46 IST
While facing flak for cutting down large number of trees for the Metro-3 project (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz), the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) on Wednesday, signed an agreement with the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) to plant 20,000 trees in the area.
According to the agreement, MMRC would be paying SGNP for planting and maintaining the trees for a period of seven years. However, MMRC did not divulge the amount.
“Two land parcels of 25 hectares each for afforestation has been allocated for the purpose of planting 20,000 trees. While part of it is on a compensatory basis, part of it also as MMRC’s corporate social responsibility,” a spokesperson from MMRC said,
Earlier in May, SGNP and MMRC officials had conducted site visits to check the feasibility of the plan.
According to Maharashtra (Urban Areas) and Preservation of Trees Act, 1975, three new saplings have to be planted for a tree being felled, but the original tree can also be transplanted to some other place. A total of 2,811 trees will be affected during the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ metro project’s 27 stations, of which 1,727 will be transplanted and 1,074 will be axed.
In Aarey, where MMRC is planning to build a car depot in 30 hectares, another 3,130 trees are proposed to be cut. This plan has been vociferously opposed by green activists who want the state government to consider other land options to build the depot. Zoru Bhatena, a green activist and part of the Save Aarey group said, “The procedure for replanting trees need to be followed properly. The norms say that there must be only five trees planted in a 100 square meter area, but in Aarey, MMRC has planted 16 trees in a 100 sq meter area. The height, girth needs to be maintained for the trees to grow.”
The only underground metro being executed in the city, Metro-3 is a 33.5 km long corridor connecting Mumbai south to north. Currently, 14% of the work on the corridor has been completed. Officials said that piling work for 25 stations is already in progress. By the end of December 2018, MMRC aims to complete all the station works.