'If you can't plant trees, at least don't chop them off'
Residents of Bandra are opposing BMC’s decision to cut trees in their area, have asked local corporator to voice their demands in the next general body meeting
Bandra residents have decided to come together to oppose the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) decision to cut down 194 trees in their area.
The BMC has decided to cut 194 trees in Bandra (East), including trees near MIG Club. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
According to the residents, if the civic body cannot maintain or plant new trees, the least they could do is not cut existing ones. Local resident and member of Greater Mumbai Graduates Forum, Sujit Chavan has threatened to go on a hunger strike if the BMC starts cutting trees.
“We (residents) have planted many trees in the area and have been taking care of them all these years. At no point can we allow BMC to cut them. Officials should respect our feelings,” says Chavan. The forum has also approached the local corporator, Anil Trimbakkar to voice their demands.
The BMC’s garden department had published an advertisement in newspapers, inviting ‘suggestions and objections’ about their decision to cut trees.
According to the department, 339 trees are obstructing construction of buildings. However, the advertisement did not reveal any more information, neither did the officials of the department, when this reporter contacted them.
Prakash Khonde, the garden superintendent, passed the buck to his deputy saying, “I don’t have any details about this issue.” However, he said that after the ‘suggestions and objections’ session, the proposal would be sent to the tree authority committee for the final nod.
When mid-day contacted Niranjan Shetty, member of the tree authority committee, he said, “I will oppose the proposal in the committee meeting that will be held in May. While the trees may be obstructing construction, the BMC should take a judicious decision. The municipal commissioner should visit the areas where they are planning to chop down the trees before he clears the proposal.”
Trimbakkar, Shiv Sena corporator of the area also opposed the civic body’s move. “I will write to the garden department and the municipal commissioner about the issue. I will also raise the issue in the general body meeting. Without any construction proposal, how can officials publish an advertisement to cut trees in my ward?”
All these years we have been taking care of these trees. We should be able to maintain them for future generations.
There must be an ulterior motive behind the proposal of cutting trees. Senior officials should intervene and not sanction the proposal.