The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has spent an estimated Rs 150 crore for removal of dead and dangerous trees in the 24 wards for three years, according to a document procured under the Right to Information (RTI).
The tender document, which invites contractors for undertaking the work from both municipal as well as private premises, estimates the cost of removing these trees to be over Rs 150 crore between April 2016 and April 2018.
“Rs 150 crore for three years means Rs 4 crore for a month. While the tender also includes private premises, they always charge private entities. Also, the tender mentions that the contractors are responsible for disposing of the waste after cutting. This means they get to sell the wood after cutting. All this means extra income for the contractor,” said Zoru Bhathena, who had sought the details under RTI.
However, the Gardens Department, which invited the tender, denies it. Jitendra Pardeshi, Superintendent of Gardens, MCGM, said, “It is not true that we pay this huge sum for removal of dead and decayed trees alone. It is also for the landscaping of gardens and development of gardens below flyovers.”
The tender document mentions the contractor’s responsibility to include the removal of dead and dangerous trees, pruning of branches, and removal of fallen trees.