Gearing up for rains, TMC asks Thaneites to ensure stability of trees on their premises

28th May, 2018

THANE : The municipal corporation has now fixed the responsibility of ensuring stability and safety of full grown trees within private properties, including residential or commercial complexes, on the respective owners and has said that stern action will be taken in case of negligence, leading to mishaps, especially in the monsoon.

The garden department of the Thane municipal corporation (TMC) has been sending out notices to the around 5,000 residential and commercial complexes in the city, asking them to ensure the safety of trees in their premises. In addition to this, a notice has been sent out asking them to ensure the stability of trees by removing any concrete or cement blockages around the tree trunks that can weaken the trees and hence result in their fall. The notice, a copy of which is with TOI, also warns residents of action under Section 8 (1) of the Maharashtra (Urban Area) Protection and Preservation of Trees Act, 1975, if any negligence is found. “We have issued notices to all residential from housing societies, bungalows and chawls that have taken up concretization work or have laid tar or paver blocks and tiles in their compound to immediately remove the same from around the trunks of the trees.

The concretization results in choking of the tree trunk as oxygen and water supply is cut off to the roots, resulting in weakening of these trees. There is a chance of such trees posing damage to human life and property,” said a senior civic official. “We have asked residents to leave at least one-meter area around the trunk. If residents fail to carry out the exercise as suggested, action will be taken against them under the Maharashtra (Urban Area) Protection and Preservation of Trees Act, 1975,” the official said.

The administration has also urged residents to undertake chopping or trimming of trees only under expert supervision. In addition, residents will have to send a status report every six months to the corporation for the next three years on all the new trees that have been planted in the premises. “We have seen that residents often take up trimming of trees on their own later, le-ading to mishaps. We have appealed to residents not to chop or trim trees or branches without permission from the tree officer,” said an officer.

While activists and experts have welcomed this new directive, they have questioned if the administration plans to hold civil contractors also responsible for the damages they cause to trees on roadsides. “It has been noticed that the contractors undertaking road cocretization work or laying footpaths blatantly choke trees without the fear of any law. The corporation must be equally stern with such contractors; else it will set a bad precedent,” said Shailendra Chikhalkar from Happy Valley society and member of the Residents’ Association of Glady Alvares road.


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