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Trees planted by MMRC opposite Eros Cinema holding on for dear life

Environmentalists denounce the organization, saying that caring for trees is not as easy as cutting them down

The trees planted by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation at Churchgate on June 5. Pics/Atul Kamble

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Trees planted by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) on a traffic island opposite Eros Cinema in Churchgate appear to be dying. On Wednesday, when the afternoon visited the spot, it could be seen that of the 29 trees at the spot, three had withered.

According to information cards attached to the branches, the trees were planted as part of an in-situ plantation program and the planting date listed is April 2021. Information such as the species of the trees was also indicated.

Environmentalist Stalin D of NGO Vanashakti said, “The continued failure of the MMRC to restore the green cover destroyed by them continues. It is only thanks to intensive follow-up by citizens that these failures come to light. Let this be a lesson to all those who supported the tree felling by MMRCL. Naturally grown trees are extremely difficult to replace and require enormous resources and commitment. Both are lacking at MMRC, which continues to deal with token resources, water resources and manpower required for this five years for each tree to be restored must be reclaimed in advance from MMRC and the task is given to NGOs who are willing to take on the responsibility of protect and care for the trees. MMRCL has failed miserably and the evidence is there for all to see.”

Green activist Zoru Bhathena said: “When planting new trees, some will die. Normally the majority die. Planting and caring for new trees is not as easy as cutting them down. We are hopeful that MMRC will nurture them all and replenish those that already have trees. died.”

Green Thumb

The MMRC had promised the Bombay High Court that it would plant around 2,600 trees at metro stations and adjoining areas along Line 3.
According to a press release, MMRC has planted over 500 trees near 13 working locations of Metro stations namely SEEPZ, MIDC, Shitladevi, Dadar, Sidhhivinayak, Science Museum, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai Central, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Churchgate, Vidhan Bhavan and Cuffe Parade .

The selected trees include flowering, ornamental and evergreen species that are seven years old and have a general height of 15 feet. The species for in-situ plantation include mahogany, bakul, peepal, sonchafa, jacaranda, taman, kadamb, deshi-badam, akash-neem, spathodea, tabebuia, umbrella, saptaparni, pangara, jangli badam and chafa.

The MMRC had awarded three contracts for in-situ tree plantation. The selected agencies must supply, plant and maintain trees of advanced size.

OfficialSpeak

R Ramana, director, planning and real estate development/NFBR, MMRC, said the organization is committed to completing the in-situ plantation of trees. “We will also issue a public appeal inviting various entities, government/private institutions, cooperative housing societies, etc. to accept planting of at least 10 trees on their premises,” he said.