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Mumbai: 664 trees in city to be axed for infrastructure projects

11:12 PM Oct 12, 2021 | Staff Reporter

The Tree Authority (TA) of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has approved the cutting and transplantation of 664 trees to make way for various projects, including various Metro phases. The Mumbai civic body had originally tabled a proposal to fell 1,343 trees before the TA; however, some of the proposals were set aside on Tuesday.

Also, for the first time, three proposals, each requiring the felling of more than 200 trees have been sent to the state-level committee for its approval, following the recent amendment in the Tree Act. On July 6, the state government had amended the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Preservation & Protection of Trees Act, 1975, according heritage status to trees more than 50 years old and necessitating approval from a state government-appointed committee for the chopping of more than 200 trees.

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Originally total 22 proposals were tabled before the civic TA, to cut down 770 trees for private projects, including various phases of the metro, expansion of the Western Railway line and for the transplantation of 573 trees. However, on Tuesday, the TA gave its nod to just 10 proposals. “Of the total 22 proposals, 10 were approved and three will be sent to the state government for its approval. The 10 proposals include the cutting down of 485 trees and the transplantation of 179 trees respectively,” said Yashwant Jadhav, Shiv Sena corporator, chairman of the BMC standing committee and a member of the Tree Authority.

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“This is the first time that a proposal requiring the cutting of more than 200 trees has been sent to the state government, since the amendment came into force recently. Now, the TA has decided that all such proposals will be sent directly to the state-level committee. Besides this, during the meeting on Tuesday we also tabled the budget for the tree authority, which will be opened in the next meeting,” said Jitendra Pardeshi, BMC superintendent, gardens department.

“All three proposals require tree-cutting and transplantation for various phases of Metro,” another official said.

For the Metro IV line from Wadala to Thane, there is a proposal for the cutting of 133 and 105 trees and the transplantation of 108 and 39 trees at Ghatkopar and Vikhroli respectively. For Metro III, it is proposed that 24 trees are to be cut and 17 transplanted, to make way for the Vidhan Bhavan metro station. Around 300 trees have been proposed to be felled for two private projects at Lower Parel.

It is proposed to cut down 18 trees and replant 27 trees for the extension of the sixth route between Santacruz and Khar and likewise, to cut down 114 trees and replant 32 trees for construction works at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus at Kurla.

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