‘Illegal’ tree cutting at PMC’s ground in Pashan upsets residents

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Ashok Ghorpade, Superintendent of Garden, has promised enquiry

Jigar Hindocha

Hundreds of citizens from more than 25 societies from Sus road area gathered at the Pune Municipal Corporation playground in Pashan on Wednesday to protest against the illegal cutting of trees which happened the day before.

The protest was organised by the Pashan Area Sabha group. When the residents asked the PMC garden department regarding the cutting of the Babul tree, the PMC garden department had no idea about it and termed the cutting ‘illegal’. Along with the Babul tree, branches of 2 cluster fig trees and a Peepal tree were also cut down. When residents questioned the people who were felling trees, they got a reply that permission was obtained from the contractor.

“We informed the police but when they came for spot inspection, the people who were felling trees had left the playground. On two trees, we found a notice dated 30-11-2017 which read – these trees need to be cut and 11 trees will be grown for cutting of one tree,” said Deepak Shrote, member of the Pashan Area Sabha group.

In response to the notice pasted on the tress, Ashok Ghorpade, Superintendent of Garden said, “The five-year-old notice in not valid and tree cutting is illegal. We will enquire about the incident.” Shorte insisted that these trees should not be removed from the place of origin now and in future also, should not be cut down.

“These are indigenous trees older than fifty years, providing shade to the people and providing greenery to the surrounding area, shelter for the birds, food and groundwater,” he said.

The Pashan Area Sabha group has registered 25 online complaints on the PMC website and has also written letters to PMC chief, Vikram Kumar.

“We want an answer from the PMC for the illegal cutting of the trees. If required, we will get to the roads to protest against the illegal cutting of trees,” added Shrote.