By Accommodation Times News Service
In a bid to increase the city’s green cover, especially when Mumbai is facing a crunch in open spaces to plant new tress, the BMC has decided to approach housing societies willing to plant more than five trees in their compound, and aid them dig holes in the ground for planting the saplings ‘properly’. It will also provide the saplings free of cost to these housing societies.
The decision was taken in the BMC’s tree committee meeting on Tuesday. While the committee members have cited this proposal to be a significant decision in the process of improving the health of saplings and trees in the city, experts have pointed it out to be an “unrealistic approach” to addressing the problem of dwindling number of trees in the city.
Former mayor and corporator Shubha Raul said, “We are running out of space on the side of roads and in parks. There are hardly any parks left. Roadsides are completely concretized, and whatever little space is left on streets will be used for parking. In the midst of this, if we are to increase the green cover in the city, we will have to approach housing societies.”
This venture will be taken up at the ward level, and citizens will have to approach the respective ward offices with applications declaring that they have space to plant more than five trees in the compound of their housing societies. Following this, the junior tree officer of workers from the ward will visit the housing societies and carry out the subsequent procedure.
Terming the venture “unrealistic”, D. Stalin, from NGO Vanashakti said, “The BMC does not have ward wise experts to visit each housing society, and the initiative will get lost in bureaucratic hurdles. If the BMC had any experts at all, they would have helped maintain the present trees. But the survival ratio of trees in this city is less than 40 per cent.”