Ensure greater transparency in transplanting trees

Updated: Oct 12, 2019, 08:11 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

In the tug of war between infrastructure and development, those pushing the latter often talk about balancing the trees cut to make way for infrastructure, with transplantation of trees

Of the total trees proposed to be cut, 307 are those that 'come in the way of the proposed ramp area' at Sariput Nagar in Aarey Milk Colony. Pic/Nimesh Dave
Of the total trees proposed to be cut, 307 are those that 'come in the way of the proposed ramp area' at Sariput Nagar in Aarey Milk Colony. Pic/Nimesh Dave

The butchering of trees in Aarey Milk Colony is not yet complete. While the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) claimed that it has transplanted many trees removed for the Metro line III alignment and is taking care of them, a nature lover who went to check on them, says 35-40 of them have either died or are on the verge of dying. The statement which was highlighted in a report in this paper is indicative of the general skepticism, cynicism and outright disbelief associated with transplanting trees, all across the Metro.

In the tug of war between infrastructure and development, those pushing the latter often talk about balancing the trees cut to make way for infrastructure, with transplantation of trees. They say a large number of trees have been transplanted and that number offsets the destruction of green.

While the transplant claims may be true or false, people want to see greater transparency in transplanting. Where for instance, are cut trees being transplanted? We need to have signage that says so many trees are cut at the site and transplanted in such and such place. The public can have access to that place. We need to have experts talking about the transplanting or on the site to show people where these trees have been transplanted and how they have been transplanted.

The effort also should be to transplant trees in dense, urban pockets or close to the place where they had been cut. Going and transplanting them on the city's outskirts or in a green lung defeats the purpose. Make transplantation efficacious with expertise by ensuring survival. Plant them in the right places. Most importantly, give public access to transplant sites and information about them to win back their faith, in these projects.

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