The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is in quite a fix due to the rising number of tree collapses. The Tree Authority is caught in a bind with lack of pruning equipment, lack of open spaces to dump the trimmed branches in the city, and has just one shredder for all 24 wards. The result? Almost 10 people have been killed and over 20 injured because of trees collapsing in the past two years.
The shredding machine purchased two years ago for over Rs 1 crore has been facing a lot of lapses and snags. In many wards, the tree-dumping grounds don’t have enough power supply to run the machine. According to statistics, more trees have collapsed in the suburban areas as compared to the city. In 2012 alone, there were over 239 collapses in the western suburbs, followed by 230 in the eastern suburbs, and 158 in the city.
“There has been a problem with the shredding machine as one machine obviously cannot be enough for the 24 wards in the city,” an official of the Tree Authority said. “Due to lack of trimming and open spaces, 10 deaths were recorded over two years. There has to be a permanent solution to get rid of this problem. If we don’t have open spaces, dumping of felled branches becomes all the more difficult,” he added.
However, Jitendra Pardesi, deputy superintendent of Tree Authority, sounded positive. “We are taking care of all such things and the pre-monsoon trimming sessions are carried out on a regular basis,” he said. “The problem about inadequate open spaces will also be dealt with soon.” The tree census was last carried out in 2008 and had a count of 19,17,844 trees. The next census is due next year.