Mumbai Coastal Road: Citizens Shocked As Marine Drive Promenade Goes Treeless

Mumbai Coastal Road: Citizens Shocked As Marine Drive Promenade Goes Treeless

According to citizens' groups, more than 160 trees were cut on the stretch for construction of the road near the Princess Street flyover. The promenade has been opened for citizens but the absence of any compensatory tree plantings has dismayed citizens.

Manoj RamakrishnanUpdated: Thursday, June 20, 2024, 09:01 PM IST
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Mumbai Coastal Road: Citizens Shocked As Marine Drive Promenade Goes Treeless |

Mumbai: Images of a tree-less walking path on the restored Marine Drive promenade after the inauguration of the Mumbai Coastal Road has shocked the area's residents.

According to citizens' groups, more than 160 trees were cut on the stretch for construction of the road near the Princess Street flyover. The promenade has been opened for citizens but the absence of any compensatory tree plantings has dismayed citizens.

On Thursday, civic activist Zoru Bathena wrote to the Municipal Commissioner, saying that he was shocked to see that the road has been restored without replanting a tree.

Atul Kumar, president of the Nariman Point Churchgate Residents Association, said that they will write to the Municipal Commissioner and he Mumbai Coastal Road. "The trees were planted by the MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority). They had grown beautifully. They gave a lot of shade," said Kumar. "Fortunately, we had documented the trees and we can tell exactly where the trees were and their species."

The trees that were cut were of species like Barringtonia Racemosa or Samudraful, a tree that thrives on the seashore, two types of ficus, Bhendi (Thespesia Populnes), and Karanj (Pongamia Pinnata).

A senior engineer from Mumbai Coastal Road denied that there were 160 trees at the site. "There were 31 that were cut and a compensatory plantation in 1:3 ratio is already done at Bhandup water treatment plant," the official said.

However, Bathena, who is a petitioner in the 2017 petition in the Bombay High Court against the felling of trees for the underground Metro, said that the BMC's plan shows there were 163 trees. "To say that I have planted trees in Bhandup and will not plant them here is stupid. Nobody will be able to visit Bhandup and check whether the trees have been planted," said Bathena.

Bathena said that the Tree Act makes it compulsory for the BMC to plant trees at 10-metre intervals on roads and hedges on medians. "The entire Coastal Road is for increasing the green cover in the city. The BMC'S promotional video for the Coastal Road shows trees on both sides," Bathena added

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