The marshland at Wadala, where the trees are to be transplantedThe marshland at Wadala, where the trees are to be transplanted

Even as the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) said it would transplant 109 trees uprooted from Cuffe Parade for Metro-III, green activists who visited the Wadala site, where the trees are going to be relocated, found that the area is unsuitable for tree growth. An activist claimed that the land allocated in Wadala is marshy and not a single tree is likely to survive there. 

The MMRC had assured that it would adequately compensate for the loss of tree cover caused due to construction of the Colaba-Bandra Seepz Metro line. Last year, in January, the BMC’s tree authority had given permission for cutting of 161 trees for the Cuffe Parade Metro station and transplantation of 109 trees. 

“MMRC had given an undertaking to the BMC to plant 507 new trees and transplant 109 trees. However, MMRC informed that since there was no space left in Cuffe Parade to plant these new trees, they would plant them on the 4,200-sqm dargah plot in Wadala,” said activist  Zoru Bhathena.

Bhathena, who visited the plot yesterday, said the barren area is marshy and unsuitable for any kind of vegetation.  “When we reached the spot, we were first excited that the barren land would soon get a green facelift.  However, on closer inspection, we found that this land was marshy. Further, locals told us that since it’s a low-lying area, seawater seeps in during high tide. Even mangroves do not survive here, how will the trees last,” Bhathena added.

Ramanna, executive director, MMRC, said, “Our team and the tree authority took the decision after examining the spot. It is wrong to say that the entire patch is marshy.”