More than 840 trees will be felled and transplanted for the BMC’s upcoming super-speciality hospital in Kandivali (West). The project is part of the expansion of the Shatabdi Hospital into a neighbouring plot.
This is the first tree-felling proposal after Aarey Milk Colony, where a large number of trees will be axed for a single project. The proposal is due to come up before the Tree Authority on Wednesday.
According to BMC officials, 842 trees will be affected by the construction, of which 149 will be chopped and 693 will be transplanted. Trees such as peepal, banyan, coconut, mango, Ashok, jack fruit among others will be felled.
An official from the BMC’s garden department said, “The public notice was published in March and suggestions and objections were invited. However, since there was a court stay, the proposal did not move at that time. Now, it will be tabled before the Tree Authority for approval. The application for tree felling was received from the superintendent of the Shatabdi hospital. For trees that are cut, the hospital authority will have to plant twice the number.”
Earlier, the civic body was criticised for allowing the felling and transplantation of over 2,600 trees for the proposed Metro car shed at Aarey Milk Colony. The city had witnessed protests after the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRCL) started chopping trees in the night, following an order from the Bombay High Court.
The proposal of felling trees for the hospital will come up for discussion on Wednesday. Many residents are skeptical about tree transplantation after a recent site inspection of Aarey Milk Colony showed that more than 60 per cent transplanted trees were dead.
Speaking to The Indian Express, activist Zoru Bhathena said many residents had objected to the felling of trees since there was another plot without green cover and the hospital could be constructed there.
“Right next to the existing hospital, there is a plot which has massive tree cover like a forest. But if the BMC wants, then it can build a new hospital on another plot which does not have tree cover. We had filed suggestions and objections on the proposal but nothing happened,” Bhathena said.
According to BMC officials, BJP corporators Abhijeet Samant and Aka Kerkar had visited the new hospital site before the proposal was finalised.
“After the Aarey issue, the Shiv Sena has become aggressive and it will be interesting to see how the party will react when this proposal comes up for discussion,” said an officer from the garden department.