From last Few days, Thanekar is facing trees falling accident. To solve this problem, TMC (Thane Municipal Corporation) has started an initiative to replace concrete slabs and tiles around full-grown trees with permeable metal grates around them.
Following an incident of tree fall in which advocate Kishore Pawar lost his life, Thane-based activist Rohit Joshi filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court, highlighting the poor condition of trees. Later, the TMC formed a committee to look into tree falling incidents, particularly during the monsoon season.
The committee found that most of the trees in Thane had a concrete base, making them more fragile and prone to tree fall. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in its 2015 order, directed the BMC to de-concretise the base of trees, leaving them surrounded only by natural soil.
A few months ago, city-based environmentalist and member of green NGO Thane Matadata Jagran Abhiyan Rohit Joshi met the city engineer and suggested that they install metal grates instead of concrete around these trees.
Talking to Times of India, Rohit Joshi said, “In 2015 the National green tribunal had ordered the Brihanmumbai municipal corporation to remove the concrete fixed at the root of these trees in Mumbai. But this order was never implemented in Thane”. Rohit Joshi who has pursued many environmental issues in Thane. It was due to his untiring efforts that Thane is now set to get its tree authority after a gap of few years.
“Freeing up the road space around the roadside trees would make the lanes in areas like Naupada, Charai and Pachpakhadi narrower and not removing the concrete around the trees would eventually lead to their fall. So I realized that if a metal grate was installed around them, it would not only allow cars to pass on it but also allow water and air to pass through it and reach the roots,” Joshi said.
“In May, I saw that a lot of road projects were going on. I met the city engineer and suggested that the metal grate project could be done simultaneously. He immediately began work on acquiring good quality material for this prototype,” Joshi added.
As a first step towards de-concretising the trees, TMC last week set up metal tree grates on trees at Bajiprabhu Deshpande road in Naupada.
“We have acquired 15 iron grates and 15 RCC grates. We have begun installing them around trees in Naupada. This will help water seep through and air to reach the soil and roots easily. If all goes well, then this project will be implemented all across the city,” said city engineer Anil Patil.