Over 40 trees in the two areas faced drastic trimming at the hands of contractors given licence by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to handle the task and residents of these areas are seeing red.
Licence for such trimming drives are normally given in July and are usually conducted before the onset of the monsoon. Around 30 trees in LIC colony in Borivli (West), which is comparatively greener than the areas in the east, faced the trimming axe. Over 80 buildings are located in the area and according to residents, the greenery and birdlife is being affected as a result of the unexpected and drastic trimming drive.
Similarly in Bandra, 10 trees were subjected to trimming near Manuel Gonsalves street.
Environment expert, Sunish Subramanian, said, “In such cases, the tree officer of that area should be present at the spot to cross verify whether permission has been given and ensure that the contractors do just what is necessary. Fines and legal proceedings should be initiated against those parties violating the norms of license given to them.”
Deputy Tree officer, western suburbs, Jitendra Pardesi, said, “Usually tree-trimming permission is given at the ward level. I am not aware of what happens in a particular area, as every area has different tree officers. If any violation is observed, then the concerned tree officer can take necessary action against the contractors.”
Kedar Sonigra, a resident of LIC colony at Borivli (West), said, “We saw branches being chopped off instead of trees being trimmed. The thickest branches of a tamarind tree, which has been in our building compound for the past 40 years, were chopped. This is totally unacceptable. The licence is to trim trees not chop away the thickest branches.”
Avanindra Bhatia, another resident of the colony, said, “Various kinds of birds are attracted to our area, which boasts the thickest green cover compared to any other colony in town. Not only are we losing out, but irregular and illegal cutting has taken a toll on the birds as well.”
Rupali Kambli, a resident of Bandra, said, “We cannot keep our windows open now as the tree cover has been removed. Two branches of a gulmohar tree used to give our building shade. But the BMC contractors chopped off the branches.”