Concrete ‘choking’ 2,081 trees in Mumbai

Concrete ‘choking’ 2,081 trees in Mumbai :- The National Green Tribunal passed an order two year ago directing the civic body to free all trees in the city from concrete at their base, but the civic body has failed to implement the directions.

Green Line which is an NGO, along with 120 students from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, carried out a survey in 19 municipal wards in Mumbai and found 2,081 trees choked with concrete and rubble at the base, without any tree basins. On Tuesday, the NGO along with the students, submitted the collected data to the superintendent of gardens and the municipal commissioner.

The concrete affects the growth of trees and weaken the roots, thereby compromising the anchorage of roots, while the tree does not get enough nutrients.

The Director of Green Line – SAvio Silveira said that in Mumbai, we are all struggling for green cover and we need to take every measure possible to ensure the trees we have are looked after. The concrete base is choking the trees and there is an urgent need to free them.

Savio said that 2,081 choked trees have been identified only under phase one of the survey. Over the next few months, we will be going ward wise, identifying every tree choked due to concretisation.

A senior of Garden Department said that we have taken the survey seriously and directed ward officers to submit a fresh report to us regarding the number of deconcretised tree bases. We had submitted an affidavit to NGT in 2016 that more than 50,000 trees were freed from concrete at their base.

But an Environmentalist rubbished the claim of civic body and said that not more than 2,000 tree bases have been freed from concrete in Mumbai. The garden department has done a good job with areas like the Dadar-Matunga stretch and along the Sion-Trombay road.