A day after residents and activists held a grieving meeting over the felling of trees at Tata Garden in Breach Candy to make way for the BMC’s ambitious coastal road project, the civic body said that the plan will not be changed. However, the civic body told the residents that it is open for dialogue.
“Changing the plan for the project will not be possible. All the details of the plan have been uploaded to the public domain for over two years. A thorough technical check has been conducted before going ahead with the plan,” said assistant municipal commissioner and in-charge of D-ward Prashant Gaikwad.
After the Bombay high court vacated the stay on cutting of trees in the garden, the BMC started felling the trees on Saturday. This outraged the residents and activists. As many as 140 trees in the 1.1 acre garden will be affected to make way for the traffic intersection arm.
On Sunday night, Gaikwad visited Breach Candy and spoke with environmentalists who had held a meeting. “We are open to dialogue with residents. We are ready to explain our plan in detail with them and answer all queries," Gaikwad said.
Earlier residents had proposed an alternate plan of cutting the trees at Signature garden. However, Gaikwad said that technically it will not be feasible as the alignment of land in the Signature garden is different from that of Tata garden.
“Locals had also suggested that the chopped trees should be transplanted at the garden which we will be constructing adjoining the coastal road. But this won’t be possible as the garden will be constructed only after the project is complete,” he said.
Meanwhile, environmentalist Zoru Bhathena said that they were told by the BMC that the project is being planned by the contractor.
“The officials have promised us that there will be a joint meeting with the person who chalked out the design. We want him to explain why the proposed alternatives can’t be considered,” Bhathena said.