Mulund and Thane city may lose a large chunk of green cover as more than 500 trees are slated to be removed for the metro construction work. According to the latest public notice issued by the Thane municipal corporation (TMC), around 491 trees will be removed from between Checknaka and Majiwada for Metro 4 works.
The public notice also stated that while 478 trees will be transplanted, 13 trees would be chopped and 72 trees will be trimmed. However, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), the implementing body for the metro, stated that it has been trying to transplant more trees rather than completely cutting them.
“Some trees interfering in the alignment, among which we are trying to transplant as many as we can. This has also caused some delay in work. We are also looking for bigger sites for replanting the trees under compensatory plantation,” said an MMRDA official.
In a Right to Information (RTI) query, it was revealed that 4,388 trees are slated to be removed for the complete 32.32 km Metro-4 project, also known as Wadala-Ghatkopar-Thane-Kasar-vadali. Among this, 871 trees will be cut and 2265 trees will be transplanted.
“This is against the detailed project report (DPR), which stated that only 450 trees will be affected by the project in Thane. The TMC is also disclosing complete information about how many trees among the 4388 trees will be affected in Thane,” said Rohit Joshi, Thane-based activist.
According to the MMRDA official, the work of Metro-4 has already been delayed, despite the construction commencing in 2018, due to the absence of tree-cutting approval by the Brihanmumbai Muni-cipal Corporation (BMC) for the trees in Mumbai.
The Bombay high court had earlier restrained the Tree Authority of the BMC to give further tree-cutting permissions till the authority is legally constituted.
The contract for the Metro-4 project had been awarded jointly to Reliance-Astaldi joint venture (JV), CHEC-Tata Projects JV andSimplex.