After the BMC proposed widening of roads in Parsi and Hindu colony in Dadar, the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) has expressed concerns over cutting of old trees for the project, and asked the roads department for a report.
This comes at a time when activists and environmentalists in the city are protesting the loss of green cover for the Metro III.
Civic officials said the roads department had proposed widening of roads less than 9 metres to 9 metres in the island city. It has submitted a list of around 80 names to the Heritage committee for a no-objection certificate, as some of the roads and structures abutting them fall under the heritage precinct.
These include road nos 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13 under the Parsi colony heritage precinct. Some of the roads are close to Palamkote garden, Wadia Park and other gardens. The roads department has submitted the list with remarks from the development plan department, which state that the widening would affect the recreation grounds, the gymkhana, club, and schools, with others.
Officials said the proposal was placed before the heritage committee to seek its go-ahead. “During the discussion, it was revealed that some trees with historical importance may need to be cut. The members of the committee expressed concerns over it. Some of the members also conducted a site visit to assess the loss. It has asked the roads department to submit a detailed status report on it,” said an official.
The roads department defended the project, stating that the road widening was proposed following directions issued by the state in November last year. “The government clearly mentioned about widening roads to 9 metres across the city,” said the official.
Another official said there could be a huge loss of green cover because of this. “The notification is for the entire city. Hence, many more trees may need to be cut to make 9-metre roads,” he said.
Residents and activists have opposed the plan. “Why widen roads where there are no traffic issues? On one side, the state is planting crores of trees and on the other, it is chopping them…,” said Nikhil Desai, an activist.