By Legal Bureau
Under Bye-law No. 162 of the Maharashtra Co-operative Housing Societies Model
Bye- laws says: No member of the society shall destroy, deface or cut down any trees
in the society’s compound. A violation may render the member concerned liable for
When trees can be chopped and what are the precautions?
Trees cannot be hacked without prior permission of the Tree Officer even if the
tree is in private premises. In Mumbai, the civic chief is the chairperson of the
Tree Authority which governs all the activities implemented under the Act. Even
government bodies require permission from the Tree Authority for any developmental
The society has to submit an application to the civic body for permission. The Society
should trim the trees regularly, During and after the monsoons, trimming the branches
is necessary as there are increased chances of accidents. A lot of cars are parked
under them, and children play in the compound in the evenings. So if a branch falls,
someone is likely to get hurt therefore it is necessary to chop the trees which are in the
society’s compound. Sometimes a tree can falls on a property due to natural causes
(rain, fire, lightening, wind)
At the time of construction of Building it must be take care by builder that trees
should be planted with keeping proper distance between wall and garden. Sometimes
builders planted trees very close to compound and therefore it creates damage to
The BMC and Society need to Co-operate with each other Therefore, it wants the
people to take some responsibility and help them in keeping the city safe.
What is a Procedure?
1. The society has to submit an application to the civic body for permission.
2. To take permission, citizen need to take a photograph of the society with an
application for trimming the branches. According to the rules, the permission
should be granted within 30 days.
3. If documents show that the municipal authority had failed to decide, a citizen
can demand an explanation from the respective municipal council under the
Right To Information Act, 2002.
Every act of chopping of trees constitutes a separate offence. The penalty includes a
minimum fine of Rs 1,000 and maximum of Rs 5,000 with imprisonment.
Can Society need to take a charge?
Nearly four cases of tree collapses were reported in housing societies over last two
months, the most recent being that of a Kalina resident, who sustained grievous
injuries when a tree fell.
However, if the society doesn’t get permission within specified period then society
can go ahead with the pruning but there are some restriction on chopping the branches
of the trees which must not damage to the building and neighbour building also.
The civic body is in charge of trimming the trees on the roads and not in the housing
societies’ compounds. Therefore, people have to take responsibility and trim trees
in their society. Most societies do so every year whereas there are few that are
not willing to do so as it costs a lot. And as for permission, societies can trim tree
branches that are small; it’s only the big branches for which one needs permission
to trim. If people are angered by the BMC fining them for not trimming trees then to
some extent, they are correct.