Bird- brained solution to droppings: chop the trees

Mumbai : A posh Bandra housing society has savagely pruned 20 fully- grown trees in its compound just because bird droppings were spoiling the cars.

Bird- brained solution to droppings: chop the trees

All this was done in the name of trimming, so that sunlight could reach the ground; so that CCTV cameras had unhindered access; and to prevent rats and squirrels from getting into apartments.

The 20 trees that were so defoliated in Mooncraft Apartments, off Carter Road, were of Acacia, Gulmohar, Almond, Nilgiri etc.

The botanical butchery did not go down well with some residents who said they were not even consulted.

” The committee took a decision on its own, and then obtained BMC’s permission. They chopped the branches on a weekday afternoon, when nobody is around,” said Manjiri Rajopadhye, who lives on the first floor.

She said she had no problems with the trees.

Another resident, Mary Ann, said, ” No reason justifies the vicious axing. Concerns about bird droppings on cars and rodents entering homes through overhanging branches near the windows could be tackled by other means.

This is really ghastly.” Mooncraft Apartments is in a leafy lane and the trimming has left the building’s compound with a considerably reduced green cover.

Naturalist and photographer Sunjoy Monga says that the incident shows the absurd priorities of Mumbaikars. ” There are a number of solutions to these minor problems, such as laying nets, as a way of containing bird droppings. Likewise, a few branches can be pruned to keep squirrels out. But to chop the branches until the tree is bare is absurd,’’ he said.

Niranjan Shetty, member of the civic tree authority, said civic ward officers can permit trimming only in case branches are up to six inches in diameter.

“ Anything above this has to be referred to the superintendent of the gardens department,’’ he added.

The chairman of the society, Imtiaz Ahmed, said it is not mandatory to consult each member as the subject fell under the purview of the managing committee alone. However, Shetty added that ideally all members of the society must be consulted. ” The managing committee is not the owner of the society. Each member has the full right to stop the work, even if the committee has gone ahead and procured the permission.” Shetty pointed out that the residents could complain to the superintendent of the gardens department about the needless and excessive trimming.

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