BMC, citizens must address their trust deficit

Updated: 08 August, 2020 04:15 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

The first is that residential societies must be agile with regard to tree trimming before the monsoon, especially for the trees in their compounds

Workers remove fallen trees from the road near the Hanging Gardens on Thursday. Pic/ Shadab Khan
Workers remove fallen trees from the road near the Hanging Gardens on Thursday. Pic/ Shadab Khan

We had extensive reports on the recent mayhem in South Mumbai brought on by torrential rains.

One standout feature amid the flood, tree falls, power outages and water crunch was the realisation that several locals and authorities have been at loggerheads when it comes to tree trimming.

This is certainly not to lay the blame on people for tree falls or crashes. But it is to emphasise that it is a two-way street to ensure that all stay safe in a challenging season.

The first is that residential societies must be agile with regard to tree trimming before the monsoon, especially for the trees in their compounds. Society members can also alert the committee or civic authorities if they believe a tree is keeling over dangerously.

When action needs to be taken, society members must move their vehicles as requested, or be ready to face slight inconvenience for the common good. We have seen massive fights between members over simple issues like being told to move a vehicle during trimming.

The issue escalates at times to the civic level with the BMC's team set to chop trees on roads and locals obdurate that they should not be touched as they do not trust those trimming the branches. At many times, the trimming is only half done or objected to entirely as locals believe this will take away the green cover, or is a ruse to do away with the tree altogether.

This also sadly shows the trust deficit between civic authorities and people.

It is time to come together to tackle this problem. The tree department must have the expertise and somebody on site at times, to respond to objections with clarity.

They must also be quick and efficacious when it comes to recognising danger and work on it. Locals must meet them halfway. We need cooperation rather than combat, togetherness rather than division.

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First Published: 08 August, 2020 04:15 IST

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