Civic authority gives in to Cooperage residents' plea of saving green cover in the area; promises to protect older trees and rethink the plan of the road-widening project

The residents of Maharshi Karve Road near Cooperage grounds are a happy lot as their fight to save the green cover surrounding their homes has borne fruit. The municipal commissioner, who met with the green activists, promised them that the green cover would be largely protected and 50 per cent of the trees on the stretch would stand tall.

After MiD DAY reported about the residents' plea made to the municipal authorities to save the trees from being axed ('SoBo's plea: Save our trees', January 24), municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar visited the area to find other alternatives for road widening and yesterday promised residents that the green cover would be protected as far as possible.

"We are quite content with the results of the meeting in which authorities vowed to save at least 50 per cent of the trees, especially the older ones," said Ruchir Bansal, resident of Dilwara building in the area and the one who started the Facebook page 'Save the trees-Maharshi Karve Road'.

And his happiness resonated among the other residents of the area. "We had heard that a resident of Napean Sea Road had raised his voice against the felling of trees in his area and later, the BMC only hacked seven trees. So we are expecting a similar situation here too. The authorities have promised that they won't hack the old trees and keep four lanes for vehicular traffic and two lanes for parking."

Standing their ground: During the meeting with the BMC authorities,
residents of Maharshi Karve Road were promised that changes would be
made to the road-widening project in order to ensure that very few trees
face the axe. Pics/Bipin Kokate, Sunil Tiwari

Confirming the news that the road-widening plan would be changed owing to the trees, a senior official from the BMC's road department, said, "The proposal will be changed in order to reduce the hacking of the trees.

The residents met the commissioner and now we will come up with a new plan.  The trees that will be hacked will be marked while the rest would be mapped. The road, which is currently less than 60 feet in width, has to be widened to 90 feet, so utility lines can be laid and the congestion can be reduced."

Additional Municipal Commissioner (Roads) Aseem Gupta said that the trees on the edges of the road would not be touched.

Fighting for their green patch
On December 26, 2011, the BMC had dispatched cautionary letters to the residents of Dilwara and Shalaka buildings and the officials of the Cooperage Telephone Exchange intimating them that the stretch of road from Wodehouse Gymkhana would be widened and hence, some trees would be cut. Residents of the area were outraged about the trees being lopped off and sent a reply to the assistant municipal commissioner of their ward, providing feasible alternatives to the trees being cut.