‘Trees cut for Mumbai Metro-3 could have been saved’ | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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‘Trees cut for Mumbai Metro-3 could have been saved’

The panel, which is surveying 700 trees hacked for the project, submitted the report to the high court on Thursday

mumbai Updated: Sep 08, 2017 09:09 IST
Badri Chatterjee

The Bombay high court’s junior tree committee in its report said that some of the trees that were hacked for the Metro-3 project (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ) could have been saved.

The panel, which is surveying 700 trees hacked for the project, submitted the report to the high court on Thursday. Another 400 trees are yet to be cut, for which approval has been granted. The members of the High Court Legal Services Committee, Khar resident and petitioner Zoru Bathena and Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) officials visited all proposed stations on the route and randomly checked transplanted, cut and retained trees.

“The trees which were cut could have been saved,” read the report. “The respondents (MMRCL) are now taking care to see that the trees which are coming in the way of the piling or station box after the finalisations of plans are only touched for cutting and transplanting. However on previous occasions, trees were cut and the plans were changed subsequently.”

In May, the petitioner had approached the high court after the Supreme Court had disposed of the original petition requesting a ban on cutting of trees for the project. The high court set up a panel to check the petitioner’s grievances and carry out a detailed survey.

The committee also said in its report that tree transplantation was done properly at PWD Colony at Bandra, area allotted by Juhu Airport Authority, MIDC station, Sports Authority of India and Goregaon.

“There are some trees that appear to be dead, but officials informed that the fruit-bearing trees take little longer to show signs of survival. However, such trees are negligible in number,” read the report. “The petitioner has no objection about transplantation,” it added.

The petitioners, however, told HT that close to 20% of the transplanted trees (700 of 1,700 transplanted) by Metro 3 contractors looked dead. “More than 140 trees looking dead certainly cannot be called negligible. We told the committee that while the standards of transplantation had improved, they are nowhere near the international standards as promised by MMRCL,” said Bathena.