FPJ EXCLUSIVE| Mumbai: A new tree for every year of axed 56-yr-old heritage tree 

State Tree Authority allows WR to cut only 1 heritage tree as against its demand of 3; permits CIDCO to cut 69 trees and asks it to plant 9,710 trees to upgrade the existing 9-hole Kharghar valley golf course

Sanjay JogUpdated: Tuesday, January 03, 2023, 01:00 AM IST
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Picture for representation | DebraJean/Pixabay

Mumbai: The Maharashtra State Tree Authority has granted approval to cut only one heritage tree against the Western Railway’s (WR) proposal to cut three, including a 56-year-old heritage tree for the construction of a railway station building with allied facilities at Grant Road. Besides the directive of planting 56 new trees in exchange, the WR has also been asked to transplant one tree adjacent to the station’s platform no 1. This will be done through the BMC.

The authority said, “As the number of trees to be cut/transplanted, other than the heritage tree, under this project are less than 200, the local tree authority shall take the decision at its level to grant permission. As per the proposal, the age of the heritage tree is 56 years, therefore the project proponent should plant 56 new trees of native/indigenous species as part of the compensatory plantation.”

Further, the Authority has allowed the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) to cut 69 trees and transplant 799 trees for the upgradation of the nine-hole Kharghar valley golf course to 18-hole international standard golf course, but plant 9,710 new trees of native/indigenous species as compensation. The number of new trees being planted are equivalent to the cumulative age of the trees being cut in this case.

The Tree Authority has also asked CIDCO to conduct a site survey to check the nests of the birds on the trees that are proposed to be cut or transplanted under this project and submit a compliance report.

On these two separate proposals, the authority said that the state agencies should start the plantation of species not less than 6ft in height within 15 days from the date of the trees being cut/transplanted.

“The WR and CIDCO should ensure that the new trees planted as a part of the compensatory plantation should be geo-tagged and monitored using the latest technologies. They should also ensure that the trees survive for a minimum period of seven days… any tree mortality during this period shall be compensated by planting an equal number of new trees,” it added.

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