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Mumbai: Tussle over trees

The beginning of the new season has brought in fears for the residents of Oshiwara Park in Jogeshwari as the society has many old trees that haven't been pruned.

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Mumbai: Tussle over trees
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Government Colony

Spread over 97 acres, the Government Colony in Bandra East has more than 5,000 staff quarters. Several trees in the age-old complex, which is maintained by the Public Works Department, haven't been pruned. According to BMC officials, they had sent a notice, but PWD didn't act upon it. The colony residents said they are scared for their lives. "We're not sure if the buildings will be able to take the load of a huge tree. The PWD has ignored the notice. Who will compensate if there are any casualties," asked a resident. Meanwhile, a PWD official said they have already paid the BMC to trim the trees and that work will begin in the next 8 days.

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Oshiwara park

The beginning of the new season has brought in fears for the residents of Oshiwara Park in Jogeshwari as the society has many old trees that haven't been pruned. Members worry they could claim lives.

The society residents said they had requested the BMC to trim trees, but were asked to pay up Rs 96,000. The complex, where most members are from the lower-income group, says it isn't in a position to raise the money.

"We collect maintenance of around Rs 1,100-1,200 from the members. In that we have to manage all the expenditures. How are we supposed to shell out nearly a lakh to get the trees trimmed," said society chairman, Vikas Anand.

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The society is spread across seven buildings and has 286 flats. Many trees in the compound are leaning dangerously. "These trees are 40-45 years old, while 14-15 of them need urgent attention," said a member.

The residents said they are petrified at the thought that trees can fall anytime and damage the buildings and injure or kill people. "This road is used by children all day long and is even used by many members of the nearby chawl. If a tree falls here and anything happens, then who will take the responsibility," said a visibly agitated Anand, pointing to their main road.

A couple of days back, a tree collapsed on few cars within the society. To pick up the fallen branches, the BMC apparently demanded a hefty sum, said the residents. "Since the cars were stuck under the branches, we called the BMC. They demanded Rs 12,000. Since we could not afford it, we called private individuals and got the job done for Rs. 3,000," Anand added.

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