The BMC plans to fell and transplant 763 trees to execute development projects across Mumbai. A proposal in this regard is set to be tabled before the civic body’s Tree Authority for approval.
Officials said there are 13 development projects in the pipeline – including construction of building and flyovers as well as expansion of railway lines – that require tree felling and transplantation.
As per the proposal, while a maximum of 265 trees needs to be removed for the Santa Cruz elevated road project, 121 trees will have to be felled for widening the Usha Nagar nullah in Bhandup. Moreover, 37 trees will have to be felled for laying the sixth line on Western Railway near Santa Cruz station. Of the total 13 proposals, eight are to be executed by private builders.
A civic official said a meeting was scheduled to take place on July 7 to approve the 13 proposals. However, it was canceled after BJP corporators alleged that three proposals had been included in agenda of the meeting without the project sites being inspected by Tree Authority members.
BJP corporator Abhijit Samant, also a member of the Tree Authority, wrote to BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal on June 8, demanding an inquiry into how proposals were included in the agenda without tree authority members visiting the project sites.
“As per the procedure, before bringing any proposal to the Tree Authority, the BMC’s garden department organises a visit for at least one Tree Authority member to the actual project site in question. This was not done in case of three projects. What is the motive behind this? This should be probed,” said Samant.
He added that if proposals are sanctioned without Tree Authority members getting a chance to make site visits, there is a chance that trees will be felled even if it is not required.
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