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BMC plans to turn barren hills green

Proposal says 38,000 trees to be planted on 11 hills across Mumbai over the next three years

In a bid to boost Mumbai’s green cover,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) plans to plant trees on the the city’s barren hills.

According to a proposal tabled by the civic body before the Tree Authority on Monday,a pilot project will be carried out on 11 hills across Mumbai.

Over the next three years,the BMC proposes to plant around 38,000 trees at a cost of about Rs 2.5 crore on these hills.

Trees that were sanctioned for felling to make way for various developmental projects in other parts of the city will also be planted on these hills. “When new trees are planted along the roadside,they are often chopped off for road expansion or for other infrastructure projects and more open spaces. Meanwhile,many of the hills across the city are barren. Considering our land limitations for re-plantation,we considered making them greener and so we came up with this proposal,” said deputy municipal commissioner in-charge of the gardens department S S Shinde.

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Terming the project “Hill-Restoration,” Shinde said,“It will not only restore the green cover,but will also prevent the possibility of landslides during the monsoon season and restrict encroachments.”

“The projected mortality rate of the trees to be planted on these hills is not clear. We have asked the corporation for more details,” said Tree Authority member Niranjan Shetty.

The hills identified for the experiment include the rear portion of Malabar hill,Worli hill,Chandivali hill (which is expected to positively impact the landslide-prone area here),two hills in Jogeshwari (east) and hills in Mulund and Bandra (east)-Kalina area.

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“There are over 40 such hillocks. As a pilot project,we will start with 11 and gradually expand the project to include all other hills,” said Shinde.

alison.saldanha@expressindia.com

First published on: 21-08-2013 at 00:31 IST
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