In a bid to increase the green cover in its locality, the BMC's H West ward has begun planting saplings along the streets in Bandra.

The drive took off from Linking Road last week. Locals and activists are more than happy to see the move taken by the civic body.

The entire road from Bandra to Santacruz is dotted with new saplings of different varieties.

An official from the gardens department on the condition of anonymity said, "The local shops which are there on the street have hacked some of the smaller trees and branches which block their view on the road. But we do not have anyone to come forward and complain about them. In a response to it we have planted these saplings."

The saplings have been planted in front of eateries and stores such as KFC, Esbeda, Tresorie, Vero Moda, Raymond, etc on the road leading to Santacruz.

When asked to a manager of one of the stores, he said, "We haven't hacked any kind of trees. We know the punishment for hacking trees and would never do such a heinous crime."

While another roadside vendor on the street who did not wished to be named said, "The saplings would be removed by people. There have been smaller trees cut off in the area previously."

Aftab Siddiqui, a activist living in the area said, "It has been two years we have been asking the ward officers to increase the number of trees on the road. S V Road has many trees but we have seen trees being poisoned and killed by local shop owners or managers. We have even complained to the BMC but went unheard. Finally they have planted the saplings in the last week and we would see to it that they are looked after by the officials."

S Dhamane, assistant municipal commissioner of H West Ward said, "The officials from the garden department have currently begun planting the samplings on Linking Road. We have yet not decided any other streets as many would undergo reconstruction work now."