Road concretisation: IC Colony women take steps to protect trees they planted decades ago
The representatives of the women’s association recently held a meeting wherein they took the officials of the roads department and former corporator Abhishek Ghosalkar for a walk across the green neighbourhood and sought protection for the trees they planted over 20 years ago
Mumbai: With the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) undertaking road concretisation work in phases across the city, women residents of IC Colony in Borivali West, part of the IC Women’s Welfare Association (ICWWA), are taking steps to protect the green cover of their area which they fear might get impacted due to the road work.
The representatives of the women’s association recently held a meeting wherein they took the officials of the roads department and former corporator Abhishek Ghosalkar for a walk across the green neighbourhood and sought protection for the trees they planted over 20 years ago. They also raised concerns over the depletion of groundwater.
The ICWWA was formed in 1999 to collectively resolve civic issues in the area. The group, which started with just six members, has more than 500 members now.
“After the concretisation work started, we raised this concern with our former corporator Abhishek Ghosalkar who ensured a meeting with the BMC’s roads department officials,” says Yvonne D’Souza, chairperson and founder of ICWWA.
“We have planted several trees in IC that now we have no more space. A lot of these trees are along the footpath, and we wanted to ensure that none of these trees are affected,” she said.
Ghosalkar said there are around 10 trees affected on each of these 18 roads. We have planned perforation pits in storm water drains (SWD) also, to ensure that water reaches the tree in future as well so that the trees don’t die.” he added.
“The whole of the IC colony has good greenery and the people who live here are avid nature lovers. When the work for digging started, we found many trees that may get affected by construct storm water drains. Hence, we have planned SWDs in a way where drains are planned in the periphery of the trees.” says Ghosalkar.
Besides the trees and groundwater, the group also discussed utilities below the road.
“We do not want repeated digging every few months by BMC and other agencies after the road is concretised. The BMC engineers explained to us about utilities being shifted on the side and ducts provided for future works,” says Cassandra Nazareth, a member of the ICWWA who has been living in IC Colony for more than 35 years.
“The trees here are very special. A lot of them are planted by me and I have seen them grow. We cannot let SWD or road works affect them. We are glad the former corporator of our ward is helping us ensure the trees have water despite concretisation.” she added.
A BMC official, from the central roads department executing the project, explained that while they have options to install percolation pits at the end of the road or in the SWD, they will install them in the SWD to ensure that trees along the SWD are not affected.
“Instead of the percolation pits only on the side of the road, we are installing them in the storm water drains. A 2.5mt long pipe is installed below SWD to ensure that the groundwater is not depleted. IC Colony has a lot of green cover and our attempt here is to save 100% of the trees.” he said.