Mumbai: The two sitting judges’ committee of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited to place on record a detailed plan spelling out their proposal for planting new trees. The committee also asked the MMRCL authority to consider the suggestion to plant a few trees on the court premises as well as at Marine Drive.
The committee, comprising Justice Shantanu Kem-kar and Justice Bhushan Gavai, was constituted to oversee the plaints pertaining to tree cutting entailed by Metro III work. During the course of the meeting held between the committee and the citizens’ groups, the judges were apprised of the contentions of the activists, who claim the metro authority has failed to plant the appropriate number of trees till date.
According to activist Zoru Bathena, “I have personally visited several sites where the trees were either cut or removed. I could see the new plants have not been planted in a proper manner. Our contentions were reinforced by the MLSA, which is visiting the sites and inspecting the work regularly.”
“Since the planting of new trees is not being done in a proper manner, we suggested to the MMRCL that it should plant some trees on the court premises, since one side of the building does not have much greenery. We have also suggested to the MMRCL to use the area along the stretch of Marine Drive for planting some new trees,” Bathena added.
As per the report submitted by the Maharashtra Legal Services Authority (MLSA), the MMRCL has to date transplanted only 740 trees, 26 per cent of which are showing no sign for sprouting. The report also states the MMRCL was required to cut 1074 trees; however to date it has axed only 813 trees.
The report also states MMRCL has not maintained appropriate distance between two new plants. Referring to the report, Bathena said, “The MMRCL undertook to plant three trees in lieu of each one cut. Going by this, there must have been at least 2439 new trees across the city, but we can see only a few hundred, and those too are not sprouting.”