The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) tree authority put on hold the axing of 159 trees on the Link Road between Dahisar and Andheri for the construction of Metro-2A (Dahisar West-DN Nagar). The proposal, which also involved transplanting 153 trees, was marked “not taken” at the 18-member tree authority’s meeting Yesterday (Friday, 15th Feb 2020).
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) tree authority comprises of an independent expert; six corporators from Shiv Sena; two from Congress; one from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP); and four from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Four positions, meant to be for independent experts, are currently vacant.
Friday’s proposal was opposed by members of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP, while the BJP members supported it. The Metro-2A 18.5-km corridor, which has been under construction since October 2016, is scheduled to start operations from next year.
The panel, however, passed a proposal of transplanting two of the 153 trees.
“We have passed the proposal to transplant two trees, and the rest have not been approved. We have always opposed the cutting of large number of trees for Metro projects. Earlier, trees have been cut as we did not have majority support, but this time we ensured that trees are not axed,” said Suvarna Karanje, Shiv Sena corporator who is on the panel.
Congress corporator and leader of opposition Ravi Raja, too, said, “Our stand is clear, and we have always opposed the cutting of trees.” The BJP, meanwhile, backed the proposal, citing their stand to vote in favour of the city’s development.
“We support the proposals that were tabled on Friday, considering it has always been our stand to vote for development,” said Abhijit Samant, BJP corporator who is a member of the tree authority.