Tree concretisation angers activists

by chitrkunwar

The contractor appointed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for the Bandra Lake beautification project has concretised about 86 trees. However, activists have warned that mindless concretisation of trees and limiting their space for growth will cause them to dry up and subsequently die.
The civic body has provided Rs 5 crore for the beautification project, which involves the installation of a musical fountain at the centre of the lake and a provision for boating.

However, activists have alleged that the contractor appointed for this project has concretised 86 ornamental palm trees at their girth. This will leave no space for the water to enter, leading to death of these trees, said activists.
Godfrey Pimenta from the Watchdog Foundation said, “The ministry of urban development and poverty alleviation guidelines clearly say that a minimum area of 6 x 6 feet around trees must be left uncemented while carpeting pavements. Recently, acting on the plea of NGO Haryali Welfare Society, the National Green Tribunal has directed the authorities in Gurgaon to stop concretisation of trees and issued them a notice for carrying out the process in the most “unscientific manner.”
Mr Pimenta added that, however, the contractor appointed for Bandra Talao beautification has been flouting all the rules for trees conservation.

This mindless concretisation by cementing trees and limiting the space for trees to grow by way of tree guards will lead to their death, Mr Pimenta stated, adding that the contractor and BMC officials supervising the beautification project should be prosecuted for killing of trees and the concrete around these trees should be removed immediately.
According to the green activists, the concretised or asphalted trees are more vulnerable to collapse as, in the absence of water entrance, the root system of the trees become weak.
Despite repeated attempts, Vijay Kamble, ward officer of H-West ward remained unavailable for comment.

May 14, 2015 | Age Correspondent | Mumbai |

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