Mumbai Faces Dispute Over Pre-Monsoon Tree Trimming As Vehicles Hinder Safety Measures

Mumbai Faces Dispute Over Pre-Monsoon Tree Trimming As Vehicles Hinder Safety Measures

The BMC has already sent notices to 3,690 government and private premises asking them to trim or cut off any tree or branch that poses a danger to people.

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Thursday, April 18, 2024, 12:58 AM IST
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Mumbai: The pre-monsoon tree trimming activities in wards are turning into heated arguments between the citizens and the labourers of contractors. The vehicles parked at the roadside are making it difficult to trim the overloaded branches and remove dead trees, which is crucial for citizens' safety, said a civic official. The civic body has targetted trimming 1.12 lakh trees on roads by June 7. 

The civic authorities carry out regular pruning of trees prior to the monsoon to prevent tree collapse during rains. However, overgrown branches often fall on the road, due to which motorists have to face inconvenience and sometimes also lead to accidents. There are 1.86 lakhs trees on the roadside as per the tree census. The BMC surveyed 1.46 lakhs of trees that required trimming, out of which 1.12 lakh were roadside trees. 

"An agency appointed at ward level for the work has started pruning branches. We are receiving complaints from contractors about cars parked on the roadside. The owners are not co-operating and refuse to remove their cars when requested by the workers who carry out trimming activities," said an official. The BMC has trimmed 15,821 trees/branches till now. Jitendra Pardeshi, Superintendent of Gardens, has appealed to the citizens to remove their vehicles from roads and co-operate with BMC.

Activists Challenge Tree Trimming Practices In Mumbai Amid Safety Concerns

The tree trimming activities have faced stiff opposition from activists and tree lovers in the Bandra and Santacruz areas last week. Zoru Bhathena, an environmental activist said, "Why would there be any argument if tree trimming activity is carried out properly? There should be a scientific guideline for pruning. The trees here are trimmed from the bottom and not on top." 

The BMC has already sent notices to 3,690 government and private premises asking them to trim or cut off any tree or branch that poses a danger to people. The responsibility for caring for trees in housing societies, government and semi-government organisations, and private spaces falls on the respective owners or users.

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