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  Metros   Mumbai  28 Feb 2019  Formation of city’s Tree Authority may be delayed

Formation of city’s Tree Authority may be delayed

THE ASIAN AGE. | DEVASHRI BHUJBAL
Published : Feb 28, 2019, 2:36 am IST
Updated : Feb 28, 2019, 2:36 am IST

HC restrained the authority last year from taking any decisions until experts were appointed.

A petition was filed in the HC against excessive cutting of trees in Mumbai.
 A petition was filed in the HC against excessive cutting of trees in Mumbai.

Mumbai: It is likely that the constitution of the Tree Authority (TA) for Mumbai will get delayed as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has extended the deadline for applications for nominated members. The Bombay high court (HC) had ordered the BMC to form a new TA as the earlier one included only municipal councilors and no tree experts.

The BMC’s garden department accordingly issued a public notice for appointment of experts, with February 26 as deadline but Wednesday, the deadline was extended to March 2. “We need four to five nominated members. May be the applications are not as expected, which led to an extension of time for applications,” said a senior garden department officer.

However, the matter was not only about extension of deadline but also the notice sent by activist Zoru Bathena to BMC’s garden department superintendent, saying that the public notice issued for appointing experts in the TA wasn’t in keeping with the HC guidelines. This could result in the BMC publishing a fresh notice altogether, further delaying the formation of the TA.

“The notice does not mention proper requirement for nominated members. I had told the BMC this earlier however, even the Wednesday notice does not mention proper requi-rements. If a fresh notice is not published, we can raise this in the next court hearing,” Bathena said.

Bathena had filed a petition in the HC against excessive tree felling in the city under the pretext of development. Finally, the HC restrained the TA in October 2018 from taking any decision until experts were appointed as members. In a recent development, MMRCL moved the HC, stating urgency in constituting the TA as all metro 3 proposals for tree removal were pending sanction. The proposal included axing 2,700 trees at Aarey for the metro car shed.

Tags: tree authority, bmc