Metro body has tree task

The Free Press Journal - - FRONT PAGE - NARSI BENWAL

The two sit­ting judges’ com­mit­tee of the Bom­bay High Court on Tues­day di­rected the Mumbai Metro Rail Cor­po­ra­tion Lim­ited to place on record a de­tailed plan spell­ing out their pro­posal for plant­ing new trees.

The com­mit­tee also asked the MMRCL au­thor­ity to con­sider the sug­ges­tion to plant a few trees on the court premises as well as at Marine Drive.

The com­mit­tee, com­pris­ing Jus­tice Shan­tanu Kemkar and Jus­tice Bhushan Gavai, was con­sti­tuted to over­see the plaints per­tain­ing to tree cut­ting en­tailed by Metro III work.

Dur­ing the course of the meet­ing held be­tween the com­mit­tee and the cit­i­zens’

groups, the judges were ap­prised of the con­tentions of the ac­tivists, who claim the metro au­thor­ity has failed to plant the ap­pro­pri­ate num­ber of trees till date. Ac­cord­ing to ac­tivist Zoru Ba­thena, “I have per­son­ally vis­ited sev­eral sites where the trees were ei­ther cut or re­moved. I could see the new plants have not been planted in a proper man­ner. Our con­tentions were re­in­forced by the MLSA, which is vis­it­ing the sites and in­spect­ing the work reg­u­larly.” “Since the plant­ing of new trees is not be­ing done in a proper man­ner, we sug­gested to the MMRCL that it should plant some trees on the court premises, since one side of the build­ing does not have much green­ery. We have also sug­gested to the MMRCL to use the area along the stretch of Marine Drive for plant­ing some new trees,” Ba­thena added.

As per the re­port sub­mit­ted by the Ma­ha­rash­tra Le­gal Ser­vices Au­thor­ity (MLSA), the MMRCL has to date trans­planted only 740 trees, 26 per cent of which are show­ing no sign for sprout­ing. The re­port also states the MMRCL was re­quired to cut 1074 trees; how­ever to date it has axed only 813 trees. The re­port also states MMRCL has not main­tained ap­pro­pri­ate dis­tance be­tween two new plants. Re­fer­ring to the re­port, Ba­thena said, “The MMRCL un­der­took to plant three trees in lieu of each one cut. Go­ing by this, there must have been at least 2439 new trees across the city, but we can see only a few hun­dred, and those too are not sprout­ing.”

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