Group gets together and replants nine trees fallen in Cyclone Tauktae in the Aarey forest; aim to raise Rs 3 lakh for more transplantations
A tree being transplanted at Aarey
Over 800 trees were uprooted in Mumbai due to Cyclone Tauktae, and more are expected to fall during the monsoon. But Mumbai’s fallen trees could survive if replanted, and so city-based nature lovers have come forward to do this. One of them, Sanjeev Valsan, started a crowd funding campaign to replant the fallen trees. He and a group of nature lovers have replanted a few fallen trees in Aarey Milk Colony and in coming days will transplant more.
The group has so far transplanted nine big trees
On Tuesday Valsan and his team cleared garbage from an area in the Aarey forest where shanties are expanding, and replanted nine big trees that fell during the cyclone, with the support of the local slum dwellers and the BMC.
What was done
Valsan said, “We replanted seven banyans (ficus benghalensis) and two gandhaumbara (ficus virens) trees which will now receive a second chance at a long life, after being choked by concrete and weakened for many years in their original spots, making them fall during Cyclone Tauktae. We are hopeful that this replantation will prevent further encroachment, and also save big trees in the buffer zone of the newly declared forest boundary. Transplantation of huge trees is a new method to stop slum expansion that we are using for first time in Aarey and the shanty dwellers are also happy to get more trees.”
‘Paid for the ped?’
Valsan claimed that is the first time that a citizen initiative will save fallen trees, ‘for which the BMC cannot find replanting space in Mumbai’, by replanting them in Aarey. The campaign, Save Mumbai’s Fallen Trees, is on milaap.org. The group wants to transplant at least a 100 trees.
Valsan and his team are working in collaboration with the Aarey CEO’s office and BMC wards. Their target is to raise Rs 3 lakh for present and future transplantations and they have till date collected Rs 85,000. They have another 15 transplantations lined up this week.