Mahim residents protest hacking of bamboos, trees- Ecological Justice?

  • Read below an article which appeared in the Hindustan Times. The land in question is owned by the St.Michaels Church. There is a status quo order passed by the Hon’ble Bombay High Court on the said land, passed way back in the year 2013.Yet the builder has cut hundreds of bamboo trees , replanted a tree and cut down trees despite the High Court order. I wonder what is the stand taken by the Church or is it just lip service?
  • Mumbai Laity
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  • 14 Aug 2015
  • Hindustan Times (Mumbai)
  • Badri Chatterjee badri.chatterjee@hindustantimes.com

Mahim residents protest hacking of bamboos, trees

MUMBAI: Bamboos have no protection under the tree protection act as they are actually a species of grass, residents of a housing colony in Mahim recently found out.

Residents of Marinagar Colony in Mahim have filed complaints with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) tree department wherein they complained that more than 100 fully-grown bamboos and four trees have been hacked at a redevelopment site by a builder.

The predominantly Catholic housing colony located opposite Mahim station consists two sets of residential buildings. The bamboo and trees were growing in gardens located between the buildings, said residents. “The property is owned by St Michael’s church and the five buildings other than the two housing complexes were built by the private builder. Apart from hacking the bamboo, the builders cut four big trees and poured acid on a few so that the trees would die,” said AM Sodder, secretary, Our Lady of Vailankanni and Perpetual Succour Cooperative Housing Society.

Another resident, Dominic Fernandes, 70, said after trimming the trees, the branches and leaves were not picked up. “When we objected, people employed by the builder harassed us,” he said.

Refuting the allegation, the private builder told HT that the garden department had allowed the felling of the bamboo and no written permission was required for it. “The reason we hacked the bamboos was because residents from one of the buildings adjacent to the ground complained of rodents, mosquitoes and snakes from the area. The garden department gave us an oral permission and we were told that the bamboo is not a tree,” said the builder. “We have permissions regarding the two large trees.” Officials from the tree department said bamboo is not classified as a tree under the Tree Preservation Act. “We have taken cognisance of the complaints and our officer is preparing a report,” said a senior official from the garden department.

 

About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
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