BMC wants to buy Rs 2 crore machine to transplant trees

BMC’s string of bad purchases in the past doesn’t seem to have deterred it from planning more expensive acquisitions. In spite of receiving flak from corporators over its costly but largely ineffective sweeping machines and pothole filling machines, the civic agency is now toying with the idea of buying a new machine which will enable transplantation of trees. They would have to cough up Rs 2 crore for the same.

Sweeping machines
Sweeping machines: The BMC had earlier spent Rs 3 crore on 20 sweeping machines to clean major roads in south Mumbai and near the airport, but the project was largely panned, and drew criticism from the municipal chief auditor

At a meeting held last week at the BMC headquarters, it was discussed and decided that five members of the committee along with the superintendent of gardens would be visiting the neighbouring state of Gujarat to see how effective its tree transplant machines are.

“The state government of Gujarat bought two hydraulic machines for the cities of Baroda and Ahmedabad four years ago and transplant trees instead of cutting them. We will go to Gujarat to see how the machines are used,” said Manisha Chaudhary, a member of the Tree Authority Committee and BJP corporator.

Jetpatcher machines
JetPatchers: The BMC also bought three pothole-filling Jetpatcher machines at the cost of Rs 78 lakh, four years ago. Since then, these machines have been gathering dust. When one of them was brought out for use earlier this year in July, it failed to work and needed immediate repairs.

While explaining the process of transplantation, an official from the garden department said, “The hydraulic machine lifts the tree from its roots and plants it at another spot in a proper manner. In the last four years, over 1,500 trees have been transplanted and the results are good enough. It will surely help a city like Mumbai.”

Shubha Raul, former mayor of the city and one of the members of the committee, said, “If we find that the machine is good and it will benefit the city, we will recommend its purchase to the administration.” ¬†Chaudhary and Raul have both planned to visit Gujarat to see how effective the machines are. Prakash Konde, superintendent of gardens was not available for comment. SS Shinde, joint municipal commissioner, said, “We have not yet decided to buy the machines.”

Rs 3 cr
The BMC spent on buying 20 sweeping machines

Rs 78 lakh
The money spent on buying 3 pothole-filling jetpatchers 

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