Leave our trees alone: Bandra tells BMC

May 04, 2014, 04:56 IST | Sujit Mahamulkar

Residents oppose decision to fell trees after Garden Department publishes cryptic advertisement on the trees they planned to cut without providing their exact location

Bandra residents and their local corporator have opposed the cutting of 194 trees near MIG Club, Bandra East. They claimed they were misled by The Garden Department, which is part of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Recently, the department published an advertisement in a newspaper, inviting “suggestion and objections” over the trees they planned to cut — but conveniently forgot to mention their exact location in Bandra.

The BMC wants to chop trees near MIG Club, Bandra

Apparently, this practice is not new. Niranjan Shetty, member of Tree Authority Committee, alleged that civic officials often avoid giving the precise address of a spot under consideration even while submitting proposals before the committee. “In one case, officials from the Garden department did not mention the address where the trees were to be cut. They often mislead citizens by mentioning only the city survey number of the plot. How will people know the location of the trees to register objections?” he asked.

The Garden Department claimed that 339 trees obstruct the construction of buildings around the city. However, Prakash Khonde, Garden Superintendent, was unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts. After mid-day published an article on this issue on Saturday, April 19, corporator Anil Trimbakkar wrote to the Garden Department and submitted his objection on behalf of local residents.

He demanded to know who proposed to cut the 194 trees in question, which buildings the trees obstruct, whether officials from the local ward knew about the proposal and if they did, why they didn’t inform the local corporator. “The advertisement was so cryptic that, in spite of being a corporator, I couldn’t make out the location of the trees,” said Trimbakkar. Advocate Sujit Chavan, Bandra resident and member of the Mahamumbai Graduates Forum, which opposes the BMC’s move, agreed about the confusing information. “The details about the numbers of buildings and trees in the area were very confusing for the reader,” he said.

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