Mumbai : Mayor Sunil Prabhu clarified on Tuesday that lifting tree-trimmings from the roadside is the job of the gardens department and not the garbage collector. The garbage trucks, operated by BMC-appointed contractors, are reluctant to cart away the trimmings as they are unwieldy.

Tree-trimmings have to be removed quickly as the leaves and twigs block drains when it rains and lead to flooding.  The issue came up in the house when corporators said that garbage contractors were not doing a proper job of lifting garbage, let alone carting away tree trimmings.

“Whenever we call the contractor to pick up the garbage and clean the area we are told that the vehicle is on duty and he doesn’t have any other vehicle”, said Shiv Sena corporator Sheetal Mhatre from Dahisar. Ex-Mayor of Mumbai, Dr. Shubha Raul said that, “Contractors burn the chopped tree branches and other waste which causes air pollution and is a serious concern”.

 Mayor Prabhu warned ward officers that he would punish them if he found uncollected garbage or tree trimmings. “Even if the trimmed branches are kept next to a dustbin, it is the garden department’s responsibility to pick up that clutter,’’ he said. Additional BMC commissioner SVR Srinivas also assured the corporators that they would try to clear all the tree-trimmings and garbage in 24 hours.While the house proceedings were in progress, all the Congress corporators, led by opposition leader Devendra (Bala) Amberkar, staged a walkout strongly opposing the recent railway fare hike approved by the NDA government.

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