Let us all strive to retain that green cover, please

Published: Jul 08, 2019, 05:39 IST | mid-day correspondent

Let us strive once again to strike that elusive but not impossible balance between development and environment. Thousands of trees are going to be sacrificed for this car shed. This bitter battle is nearing end game

Let us all strive to retain that green cover, please

Even as you read this, the time for BMC's public notice inviting suggestions and objections to removing trees at Aarey Milk Colony in view of the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro line III car shed construction work has elapsed. A meeting with those who have raised objections will take place today evening.

A report in this paper stated that several activists and eco warriors have filed objections. The report also goes on to cite disheartening statistics. According to international benchmarks, there must be seven trees per person. But in Mumbai, the average comes down to less than one tree per person. As for transplantation, records have shown that more than 55 per cent of the transplanted trees do not survive. Also, a good tree cover is required across the city. So there is little sense in removing trees from one area and transplanting them elsewhere.

Let us strive once again to strike that elusive but not impossible balance between development and environment. Thousands of trees are going to be sacrificed for this car shed. This bitter battle is nearing end game.

We would like to know where will they be transplanted? The same with other development projects in the offing. Where are the trees placed once cut? Do they survive the transplantation at all? Why is this information not given to the public? Why are authorities opaque about these aspects? Is there a board of experts looking into tree transplantation? If not, why so?

Records about transplanted trees are dismal though. We want activists and authorities to come to some sort of amicable solution. The authorities themselves are first and foremost, citizens. They have a stake in ensuring that green cover does not continue to wane in Mumbai. They benefit from it as much as others do.

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