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Mumbai: More trees fell in dry months than in rain

The incidents have injured 13 people and two have died so far.

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Mumbai: More trees fell in dry months than in rain
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For the civic administration which believes that tree falls are a monsoon phenomenon, there is a surprise in store.

In the last five dry months of blistering summer and winter, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has received 700 complaints of tree or branches collapse.

The incidents have injured 13 people and two have died so far.

Taking heed of the increasing incidents, BMC has decided to hold the contractor in-charge of trimming responsible in the event of a mishap caused due to a tree fall. It has expressly said so in a clause stated in the contract between both the parties.

The BMC has added a new clause in the new contract which will start from 16 June. "Contractors hired for the tree trimming have to cut trees in a scientific manner. If they found guilty in such incidents, BMC holds them responsible and act as per the situation," said an officer from the Garden Department. In 2018 alone, around 2,500 incidents of tree/branch fall happened. Out of which 1,007 trees/branches instances happened in the four monsoon months i.e. from June 1 to September 30 resulting in the death of five people. Whereas in the same year around 1,500 trees/ branches fell in the dry season claiming two lives.

The same pattern occurred in this year too when during the dry season from January to May 2019 the civic body reported 674 tree/branches fall with the city reporting 183, Eastern suburbs reporting 181 and Western suburbs reporting 310 tree falls during that time.

"There are many reasons other than gusty winds or rain. Most of the trees fall due to not getting enough support. Some times rats eat the roots. Cement-concentration gives limited space to roots," said a BMC officer. The city sees tree falling incidents throughout the year despite giving trimming contract for a whopping Rs 45 crore a year.

Deaths in 2019

Two persons died in tree collapse in the last five months. C K Gopalakrishnan died due to a  tree collapse on May 19 in Andheri. Ambika Kale (20) a contract labourer died on May 28. 

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