Mumbai : It does seem the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Tree Authority (TA) has not learnt a lesson after the uproar over felling of more than 2,000 trees at Aarey Colony for the Metro III depot. In a new development, the civic TA has pasted notices to chop 18 coconut trees standing tall (of 30 feet height), near the Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL). BMC said that these trees are an hindrance in the aircraft movement activity.
In the notice issued by the civic authority, it has mentioned that these trees are obstructing the view of the monitoring control room, which keep a watch on the landing and take-off of aircraft.
Sridhar Kulkarni (62), who owns Samadhan Sadan (a privately-owned building) in Hanuman Nagar locality, had planted these coconut trees. He has now filed an objection to the BMC stating that the trees do not obstruct the landings and takeoffs of the aircraft. His son Durgesh Kulkarni, who is now taking care of these coconut trees stated, “Earlier, the BMC wanted to cut the Shami tree, which was on Hanuman Road for road widening. However, we moved the Bombay High Court, as the Shami tree is one of the rare species. The court ordered a stay for hacking the Shami tree and other trees too.” He said that later the Shami tree was poisoned and had to be removed.
Durgesh added that the BMC wants to chop the other coconut trees and they have objected by saying the HC orders remain. “We have pointed out that they cannot proceed as there is a HC stay order. Moreover, the reason seems mischievous as there are many buildings closer to the airport that are taller than these trees,” he claimed.
Mumbai-based activist Vivekanand Gupta also expressed his anguish and said these trees have been here over the last 35 years and do not obstruct the flight traffic movement.
“The reason cited by BMC for cutting down these trees is not convincing at all. The authority should reconsider its decision,” said Gupta.
Gupta questioned why have the buildings that broke the height rule not been issued any demolition orders.