The BMC had told the court that it had placed advertisements in newspapers to seek applications from botany experts.
Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has told the Bombay high court that its officers are scrutinising 37 applications for the tree authority and it would inform the court on Thursday as to who will be the members of the committee.
Furthermore, the civic body will also inform the court about whether the tree committee can work while the code of conduct is in place. Metro authorities had told the court that due to the non-existence of a tree authority, it couldn’t continue with the Aarey metro car shed work.
A bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice N.M. Jamdar was hearing a bunch of petitions filed to oppose the construction of the metro car shed in Aarey colony. According to petitions, around 2,000 trees will be cut for the car shed. The BMC had told the court that it had placed advertisements in newspapers to seek applications from botany experts.
The court on Monday asked BMC about the progress in appointing tree authority experts.
Senior counsel, Anil Sakhare who represented BMC told the court that work of scrutinising appl-ications is going on and till Wednesday it will be completed. He also said that whether the committee can work or not during the imposition of the code of conduct, will also be informed to the court.
The court then said that all the required work must go on during the poll code enforcement period. “The code of conduct doesn’t mean you stop all work. All necessary work must continue,” the bench said. “How does the tree aut-hority get affected? Ever-ything doesn’t stop beca-use of the code of cond-uct. Will you stop your tu-nnel boring machines th-at are being used for metro construction across Mum-bai? Ensure that what is necessary does not come to a halt,” the bench said.
It also directed the BMC and the MMRDA to inform the court how successfully they were able to transplant and translocate trees that were chopped for metro and other development projects.
The direction came after one of the petitioners, activist Zoru Bhathena, said the practice of translocating trees was problematic since in most cases, the authorities chopped trees from a certain area, destroying its green cover, and then translocated them 20 km away or even farther. At this, the bench suggested that the BMC and the MMRDA make use of technology to see if such trees could be replanted at a site closer to the one from where they were felled. "This is an important point raised by the petitioner. You must try to maintain a balance between the environment and new development," the bench observed.