Wooden, fibre tree guards to replace metal ones to deter thieves

Here is some good news for tree-lovers who have been unhappy about the rampant theft of metal guards that are placed around trees for their protection.

The Tree Authority Committee of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to replace the metal guards with wooden or fibre ones, as these materials are difficult to sell as scrap.

The metal tree guards that often get pinched

Drug addicts and petty thieves have been stealing metal fencing to sell it in the scrap market for money. Around 10 metal tree guards were stolen from LG Road in Mahim (West) in the past year. The civic body is already facing a shortage of these guards. 

A tree from which the guard has been stolen

“We have already approached the BMC ward office and informed them about the repeated thefts of tree guards. But, till date, they have not provided the new tree guards and are asking us to wait, as there is a shortage. We feel that the guards are necessary for the plant to survive as it might otherwise get damaged by heavy rains and the wind,” said Irfan Machiwala, a social activist from the area.

“It is the BMC’s responsibility to get a new guard and provide a water tank. We have been watering the plants for the past three years as the BMC is least bothered,” he alleged.

“We are planning to place wooden or fibre guards instead of metal guards. If the drug addicts steal fibre guards they won’t get any money by selling them in the market,” said Niranjan Shetty, member of Tree Authority Committee.

Jagdish Bhoir, gardens engineer from the G-North ward, was unavailable for comment. “We have already registered a complaint with the local police station and it is their responsibility to look into the matter,” said a BMC official. 

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