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Mumbai residents protest against tree cutting on Linking, SV Roads

The protesters claim that the Mumbai civic body has ignored their complaints despite their protests since July 7.

mumbai Updated: Jul 21, 2017 10:39 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times
Tree cutting,Linking Road,SV Road
One of the eight trees cut at Linking Road in May.(HT)

Residents of Khar have been staging a silent protest at Linking Road for almost two weeks now against Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for a range of issues, including hacking of trees at Linking Road and SV Road.

The protesters claim that the civic body has ignored their complaints despite their protests since July 7. “The trees on the roads were cut almost two months ago but when we asked authorities if we could plant more trees, we were told that they couldn’t let to us grow trees on roads,” said Aftab Siddique, chairperson, Khar Advanced Locality Management.

In May, an FIR was filed at Khar police station after eight trees were illegally chopped in a week between Khar junction and the KFC outlet on Linking Road, said officials from the garden department.

Sunil Wagh, a resident of Linking Road, said a tree outside his society is pruned four times in a year. “The moment the tree grows beyond a particular height, it is chopped off so it doesn’t cover showrooms’ boards,” he said.

The residents have also raised questions about the state’s tree plantation drive since trees planted were not being maintained. “The BMC just plants these trees and it is we, the residents, who have to nurture them. Do the authorities have no responsibility? Shouldn’t everyone be held accountable for the city’s green cover?” asked Wagh.

In Maharashtra, tree cutting is a non-bailable offence. However, residents claim that no arrests have been made in the case as it has been registered against unknown people and the police have not been able to find a suspect yet.

Speaking to HT, H-West ward officer, Sharad Ughade, said, “We know that trees were illegally trimmed and we have filed a case in this matter. The issue is being looked into.”

The other issues on the residents’ agenda are illegal hawkers, the lack of traffic police and illegal construction at Linking Road.

First Published: Jul 21, 2017 10:39 IST