Even as the proposal to cut 2,298 trees for the Metro-3 car shed at Aarey will be placed before the Tree Authority on Monday, the survival rates and state of trees replanted in the city in lieu of those hacked for Monorail and Metro projects have been dismal, data from the gardens department suggested.
Discrepancy in data from gardens department and Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) also shows that more trees were cut than those for which permission was sought. For the Metro-3 car shed, 254 trees from Aarey are proposed to be cut, and 2,044 trees are proposed to be transplanted. These proposals will come before the Tree Authority for their sanction on Monday.
A single stem with the tag ‘Mumbai Monorail Tree Plantation. Tree ID:0995’ stands among many other similar stems and dried saplings with similar tags 100 m from the entrance of Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) Kandivali campus. These saplings are some of the ‘surviving trees’ planted to replace the large Gulmohar and Bhendi trees hacked from Mahul, Chembur and Wadala areas for the Monorail project.
Replantation for Monorail project was done in Kandivali as well as Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited colonies in Chembur. As many as 283 trees died at SAI, according to the final survival report submitted by the Mumbai Monorail Project Director to the MMRDA in March last year. For the project, the number of trees the Tree Authority permitted to cut and transplant were 921 and 658, respectively, according to the gardens department. According to civic norms, twice the number of trees cut and the same number of trees transplanted should be planted, which amounts to a total of 2,500 trees.
The survival report, meanwhile, shows that “2,161 trees for Monorail project which are surviving and in good condition”. These include the 1,567 trees out of the 1,850 planted in SAI and the 571 and 23 trees, respectively, that survived at HPCL and BPCL colonies till March last year.
While the spokesperson for L&T-Scomi did not wish to comment on the dismal survival rate, Monorail authorities, who did not wish to be named, said after three years of plantation, according to civic norms, it was the responsibility of the caretakers of the property on which plantation was done to take care of them.