mid-day editorial: Balance environment and development

Feb 09, 2018, 02:05 IST | mid-day correspondent

Responses have been coming in from across the city, after this paper reported on how two big, beautiful Banyan trees were hacked to stump level in south Mumbai

Responses have been coming in from across the city, after this paper reported on how two big, beautiful Banyan trees were hacked to stump level in south Mumbai. There was more grief for the green warriors, as on the same day, another report cited that the Metro 2-B line (DN Nagar to Mankhurd) was embroiled in controversy even before work to construct it began. Activists have alleged contractors have destroyed mangroves at Juhu Koliwada.

An activist had claimed in the report that destroying a beach for a Metro is senseless; mangroves too are crucial for coastal ecology. In the case of trees, the residents had stated other ways could have been used to tackle the danger posed by them if that was the reason they were hacked.

But whatever the reasons for the actions, it shows us the perennial conflict that some eco-conscious individuals have with authorities and the need to continually strike a balance between environment and development.

While certain trees may be dangerous, there can be other ways in which experts may advise how to mitigate their dangers, instead of simply reducing the trees to stubs.

In the mangroves, for instance, the work needs to be re-looked at. It would help if officials put up full information on boards at the sites about what they are doing.

Most of the time, the locals are simply clueless and their protests or actions lead to no results.

These two groups, continually at loggerheads, are putting a great strain on the city.

Locals must be empowered to seek information, take recourse to some action in case they feel the area is being affected.

More information in public domain will help dissipate at least some of these recurring conflicts.

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