The proposal to cut 70 trees around Hanging Gardens in south Mumbai's Walkeshwar area to facilitate the widening of the adjacent Siri Road and convert a pedestrian pathway into motorable road was rejected in the BMC's improvements committee meeting on Tuesday.

After much debate, committee members voted on the issue and put it to record. This means that this proposal cannot be brought infront of the committee again, thus bringing a long-standing debate to a closure.

Interestingly, it was Shiv Sena corporator and ex-Mayor Shraddha Jadhav who suggested that the committee should vote on the issue, digressing from procedure. Subsequently the Shiv Sena voted to record the proposal, contending BJP's stand.

Meanwhile, MNS corporator Dilip Lande said that the move stinks of corruption. He indicated that the administration has failed to provide any paperwork of surveys conducted in the area to ascertain an alternate route, like an underground road. It also did not conduct the mandatory geological survey and tree census of the area.

Malabar Hill BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha had proposed a pedestrian pathway into the motorable road near Hanging Gardens in Walkeshwar by chopping off 70 trees. The politician had said that it is possible to “save fuel and reduce pollution” with the proposed road.

Residents, environmentalists and local activists have been opposing the proposal.