Following several tree fall incidents, that have claimed lives, injured people and damaged properties, over the last few years, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has appealed to people to get permissions to prune weak trees before this monsoon. The civic body has asked people to register their complaints in the local ward offices with requests to prune trees on their premises that they feel are dangerous and likely to fall during heavy rains.
The BMC has also directed its tree department officials across the 24 administrative wards to prune branches of trees that are in a dangerous condition. The directions were given after taking into account the number of deaths due to tree falls since last monsoon. The officials have been asked to be prompt and attend to all complaints and take necessary action at the earliest. Four people died in separate incidents of tree collapse in last year’s monsoon. While two incidents were in Chembur, one was in Borivali and another one was in Colaba. One death was reported in Dadar last month.
After the four incidents last year, the BMC’s tree department faced a lot of public ire for alleged negligence. Last month, Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta instructed all tree department officials to inspect trees using scientific methods before pruning them. The BMC has decided to train 112 officials to inspect trees scientifically and analyse if a tree is decayed or hollow from inside and trim branches, following a particular method to maintain its balance. At present, the officials determine the health of a tree based on visual inspection.
According to BMC’s data, the city has witnessed around 9,500 incidents of tree fall and collapse in six years (between 2010 and 2016). Of this, around 1,275 incidents have led to damage of properties.