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Is BMC deliberately killing trees in city?

Updated on: 13 June,2023 07:55 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Sameer Surve |

Residents red-flag concreting around trees in Bandra, Dahisar; activists slam BMC for not following own diktat, say large number of trees will fall during monsoon

Is BMC deliberately killing trees in city?

The lifespan of trees on Dhobi Ghat Road are threatened by concreting

Are trees deliberately being killed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)? This question is on the minds of local residents and activists, who have pointed out that concrete cement is being poured around the base of trees on Dhobi Ghat Road in Dahisar East and along the Western Express Highway in Bandra East. Ironically, the civic body has been using plastic trees to decorate streets as part of its efforts to beautify the city.

Road work and drain repairs are underway on Dhobi Ghat Road. During the concreting of the stretch, the BMC failed to leave free space around several trees. Dahisar resident Sanjay Patil, who brought the matter to light, said, “In the name of road concreting and beautification of roads and footpaths, the BMC is killing trees.”

“Cement is being poured on the roots of the roots, which will claim their lives in the coming days. No norms are being followed. While the BMC makes sure that natural trees die, it uses plastic ones to decorate the streets. It is a sheer waste of taxpayers’ money,” he added.

Trees along the Western Express Highway near the Government Colony junction in Bandra East
Trees along the Western Express Highway near the Government Colony junction in Bandra East

Along the Western Express Highway, near the Government Colony junction and the Bandra court, debris can be seen at the base of trees. “The National Green Tribunal (NGT), in 2015, ordered the civic authority to keep a one-metre area from the tree trunk concrete-free,” said Stalin Dayanand, director of the NGO Vanashakti.

The order came in the wake of a complaint by Vanashakti that concreting around critical root zones of trees was one the reasons for the death of rain trees. “Still, the roots and trunks of trees are being damaged by concreting. This is not only in Dahisar and Bandra but also at various places in the city. Due to this, several trees are going to fall during the monsoon,” Stalin stated.

Zoru Bhathena, another activist, said, “The BMC published a circular to prevent concreting around trees. This circular was published in 2018 but the civic body is not following its own directions.” Deputy Municipal Commissioner Ulhas Mahale did not respond messages from mid-day till press time.

Year the civic body issued circular on concreting

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