In a controversial move which is bound to upset environmentalists and nature lovers, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has mooted a proposal to chop or transplant as many as 3,267 trees for constructing an Olympic-sized swimming pool and gymnasium on land parcels tagged with garden reservation on survey number 230 in Bhayandar (east).
MBMC’s tree authority has published a public notice on October 23, under section 8(3) (C) of the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Protection & Preservation of Trees Act, 1975 mooting a proposal to transplant 3,237 trees including 607 (height above 3 meters) and 2660 (below 3 meters).
Proposal in the dock
Questions are being raised on the viability of the proposed move to transplant the thousands of trees which are facing the axe and the logic behind further shrinking the limited green spaces. Moreover, going by past experiences, the survival rate of moving trees which involves expertise and a huge amount of funds is also a matter of concern. “We are not against any developmental works, however, sacrificing such a large number of trees and depriving citizens especially children and senior citizens of open space is uncalled for. This trend is dangerous for the twin-city and we are strongly opposing it.” said BJP leader and former deputy mayor Hasmukh Gehlot.
MBMC seeks suggestions
When contacted, deputy municipal commissioner Kalpita Pimple said, “The proposal to transplant the trees to an alternative location for the upcoming facilities is still under consideration, as we have released a public notice inviting objections and suggestions from citizens, following which hearings will be conducted and only then an appropriate decision will be taken accordingly.”
Notably, the civic administration as a part of their ambitious plan of further increasing the green cover of the twin-city had teamed up with a reputed Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) to create an urban forest through Miyawaki, a unique forestation technique based on the work of Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki in the same stretch of barren land last year. The forest is blooming and creating a very positive impact on micro climate, creating change in temperature, oxygen levels and increasing biodiversity.