BMC to reinforce green measures

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In an effort to protect the tree cover in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to reapply stringent green measures.

The civic body — which had earlier framed a rule to plant two trees for every tree cut — has decided to meticulously implement the same from the coming month.

According to a senior civic official, the BMC’s gardens department set the said rule in 2010. The department had, at the time, set a mandate for the new trees to be of a similar height and species as the tree that was hacked.

The rule was floated to catch hold of developers-builders who, after cutting aged trees, would get away by planting merely a sapling, which withered away in no time at all.

“Also, no one from the BMC maintained a strict vigil on the rule and its implementation. Thus, the count of trees planted to the total number of trees cut was never maintained,” the official said. He added that the department also found that it was practically impossible to plant trees of a similar height to those that were cut.

Thus, as a means to resolve this quandary, the civic body has now decided to levy a compulsion on builders to avail a plot of land to plant two tree saplings.

With developers-builders seeking permission to fell trees obstructing their constructions, the BMC will be tallying the total saplings required to that of the number of felled trees.

“This will now ensure that trees are planted to compensate for the ones cut in the city. It will also ensure that the green rule is followed by the builders,” the officer said.

The rule will first be reinforced at new construction sites, as land space will be readily available there. The second phase will involve open plots and space available at already constructed buildings.

Commending on the decision, corporator Rajshree Shirwadkar said that only stringent decisions and their implementation will assure the sustainability of trees in the megapolis.

Meanwhile, while one hand the civic body is attempting to reinforce its green rule to sustain the city’s tree cover, on the other, it continues to contemplate axing-transplanting 2, 954 trees.

On Monday, the BMC’s Tree Committee approved the decision to axe-transplant these trees in suburban Mumbai.

The committee has received a proposal to fell the trees in and around the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Andheri’s Sahar area.

“Around 675 trees will be chopped away and over 2, 200 will be transplanted from the total number. The developer has marked that these trees are obstructing the extension plans of the airport, and thus the decision must be made,” a committee member said.