Residents claim that while have planted many saplings across the city, the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has not supported their initiative, leading to the thinning of green cover in the city. While Thanekars are blaming TMC's lackadaisical attitude, the latter has chosen to reply through events such as Vrukshavalli that are organised to highlight the importance of greenery in the city.
Those residing in Ritu Park near Vrindavan have been upset with the construction of flyover in the vicinity, ever since Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) harmed the residents' plants while digging the road and also avoided planting them again. Senior citizens of the society had come forward to plant saplings and would also take care of these plants.
"We had planted many saplings when we shifted to this society eight years back, these had become full grown trees. But due to the construction of the flyover most of these were chopped off, except three trees none were replanted and both TMC and MSRDC have been passing the buck on each other. None of them are taking responsibility of getting them planted again," says T A Korgaonkar, Chairman, Apex body of Ritu Park. As there was no support from TMC to maintain these trees, the senior citizens took them among themselves to water and maintain them.
"All these trees were fruit bearing or neem trees and were extremely beneficial, even if urbanisation and infrastructure needs to be updated, greenery is equally important. If the corporation does not have an option but to chop these trees then they should be replanted so that a balance is maintained in the surroundings," says Rajan Vyavhare, Secretary of Ritu Park residents Association.
Dr Waman Kale, president of Ghodbunder Road Resident welfare association, says, "I had planted 350 saplings across Ghodbunder Road but out of them only 150 are still there. This was due to the help received from shopkeepers in the vicinity and there were times when I used to go along the stretch watering the plants. I wrote numerous letters to the TMC asking for fencing and regular watering of the plants but there was no response."
"Along with numerous letters, we also approached the TMC office and complained. The TMC has a scheme wherein they are supposed to plant a number of saplings every year and at least 80% of them should be maintained but none of these is being followed. They also do not support our initiative," says Kale.
"TMC members claimed they have handed contract, as per which these plants are watered twice a week but none of the residents or shop keepers in the vicinity have noticed them ever. Hence we decided to take up the matter in our own hands and managed to save 150 trees," says Kale.
\Sandeep Malvi, PRO, TMC, says, "We have given a contract for the maintenance of plants and trees alongside roads. We had also provided mud to these residents before their planting initiative. During construction work we have to chop down these trees but will ensure that more than the chopped numbers are replanted once the flyover work is completed."