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  Metros   Mumbai  10 May 2019  Contractor guilty if tree mishap occurs

Contractor guilty if tree mishap occurs

THE ASIAN AGE. | DEVASHRI BHUJBAL
Published : May 10, 2019, 3:25 am IST
Updated : May 10, 2019, 3:25 am IST

The proposal to appoint 23 contractors for tree trimming/cutting will be tabled in the next tree authority meeting for final sanction.

File picture of civic workers pruning trees.
 File picture of civic workers pruning trees.

Mumbai: According to a new clause, from now on if a tree collapses causing damage to life and/or property, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) won’t be held responsible but the contractor who carried out the tree trimming/cutting in that area will be held wholly responsible for the mishap.

The BMC has decided to add this clause in the new contract owing to the rise in the number of tree collapse incidents in Mumbai in the last couple of years.

 

The proposal to appoint 23 contractors for tree trimming/cutting will be tabled in the next tree authority meeting for final sanction.

An officer from the garden department told The Asian Age, “We had to invite a revised tender as the country has only five arborists (a tree surgeon). Thus, we decided to exclude the clause for a compulsory arborist, instead making it mandatory for contractors to include a technical expert to inspect and report dangerous trees in every ward. Also, we included the clause in the revised tender that if a tree falls and there is any damage, the contractor will be responsible and not the tree officer.”

In 2017, five people died due to tree fall while in 2018, six people died and 30 were injured due to tree fall. Since then, the BMC had been facing flak for its unscientific trimming of trees which led to their collapse. The civic body then decided to include an arborist on the board for the scientific trimming of trees.

 

The BMC floated tenders to appoint 23 contractors across 24 civic wards (wards C and D have been clubbed) for tree trimming/cutting.

The contract is for the next two years and costs Rs 90 crore. The last contract for three years at a cost of Rs 140 crore will end on May 15.

Responding on the addition of the clause, tree activist Zoru Bathena said, “The BMC is just pinning the responsibility on others. Tree fall is natural. The contractors, in fear of tree fall, are cutting more branches, making the trees weak. The authorities should first concentrate on scientific trimming by appointing experts.”

Tags: bmc, tree trimming