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Felling coconut trees against BMC policy

Saturday, 27 August 2011 - 8:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

BMC's tree policy does not allow cutting down of coconut trees in the city.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has a very strange approach to pruning and maintening coconut trees. The civic body’s tree policy does not allow cutting down of coconut trees in the city.

A coconut tree collapsed on Thursday, crushing CEO of Milestone Capital, Ved Prakash Arya to death.

However, despite the freak mishap, the civic body stands firm on its policy. “We don’t allow chopping down of coconut trees. The possibility of coconut trees falling down is very rare. The tree sustains huge wind velocity and suits the weather condition of city,” said Suhas Karwande, deputy municipal Commissioner, gardens.

The garden officials too reiterated the stand. According to a senior garden official, the coconut tree has to be dead and a danger to people; only then is the permission given to cut it.

The BMC’s tree expert committee was asked to carry out a scientific survey of the trees in the city. But the coconut garden, where the 7-metre tree fell was never inspected by these experts.

The panel listed 226 trees in the city as being on the verge of collapse and 11 dangerous trees were identified in Andheri.

“The team did not even visit this garden and conveniently overlooked it. Even when the garden department is made aware of such vulnerable coconut trees, they don’t give the permission,” said Niranjan Shetty, member of tree authority.

A day after the freak mishap, the civic administration still has no clue about the cause of the collapse. Civic officials suspected that laying paverblocks around the tree must have nipped the roots and caused the collapse of the tree.

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