The city’s planning agencies have taken up the task of beautifying roads and dividers in many parts of the city, planting trees and growing shrubs. But if you spot trees growing out of the walls that support the Powai Flyover, don’t mistake it to be the product of such efforts.
The 500-metre flyover, which runs along the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) has around 14 plants growing along its side walls.
Those working nearby claim that every year officials come and lop off the trees to protect the strength of the structure, but haven’t done so this year. Engineers have expressed their fear that the roots of the trees will penetrate the structure and damage it severely.
“So far no such problem has come to my notice, but I will inform the necessary department and we will look into the matter as soon as possible,” said Bipin Srimali, managing director of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).
As of now the vegetative growth is not affecting anyone, but if they are left to grow the roots might grow into the flyover and weaken it. The authorities must take notice of such problems before it gets worse
-- Yogesh Rao, a resident of Powai who lives just a few metres from the flyover
There is nothing new about these trees growing along the gaps in the bridge. Every year some people come and cut these trees, but they haven’t showed up this year. Either they have been delayed or have chosen to ignore the problem
-- A private security guard who works near the bridge
This may not appear to be a problem. But if the trees become too big, their roots will end up damaging the flyover. With more than 10 trees growing all over the flyover, the collective damage could be grave.
-- Lambu, a juice vendor with a stall near the flyover
Any type of wild vegetation that grows on the structure can prove to be disastrous. The roots cause the most damage. If not dealt with immediately, the vegetation will grow and in turn go deeper into the structure, and in the process weaken
-- Satish Dhupelia, structural consultant