BMC holds meeting to increase greenery in Mumbai
Meeting held to discuss how to increase greenery in city and to involve citizens in protection of trees
In a first, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) called for a meeting on Monday, to discuss increasing the tree cover of the city. Incidents of healthy trees falling has become a cause of great concern for the BMC, and the commissioner also instructed officials to procure hand held tree radar/MRI machines to check their internal condition.
The meeting was held with horticulturalists, tree experts and environmentalists, and points discussed ranged from involving citizen participation for the protection of trees, to identifying plots over one hectare for plantation, to forming guidelines for standardised tree trimming etc. The pending open space policy too was discussed in the meeting, along with a new concept, of rooftop gardens. The discussion also included creating an app to track trees, particularly new ones planted when building permission is issued.
Activists pointed out that recreation ground amenities that are offered by private developers, should also be taken up in the list of spaces where plantation could take place. About 20 such plots are to be identified all over Mumbai, and urban forests created immediately. Commissioner Pravin Pardeshi gave instructions about purchasing equipment to ensure that trimming is done in the correct manner from the top, instead of the current method of trimming trees from down. Activists claimed that they pointed out that were no standardised methods for doing this work and said a uniform policy should be formed, and this was accepted by the BMC commissioner.
'A very positive meeting'
Activist Zoru Bhathena who attended the meeting said, "The commissioner suggested that private parties should be allowed to maintain gardens and parks for a period of 7 years. There should also be universal access to all citizens and commercial misuse should be checked by the authority. Charges could be levied for high value activities like tennis/swimming. Park timings could be a mix of free access and paid access, and passes can be issued for this when the discussion takes place about the open space policy. It was a very positive meeting and many positive instructions were given, we hope they are implemented correctly and promptly."
While Pardeshi seemed averse to the idea of concretising the space in gardens, he also suggested that a policy be made about rooftop gardens, as it will help increase green cover and keep the ambient temperature in check. When contacted, Superintendent of Gardens Jitendra Pardeshi, who was part of the meeting, did not give details and said was held up in another meeting.
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