Pune : 100 Trees Felled on SPPU Campus Spark Controversy as Authorities Dispute Claims

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PUNE: Controversy surrounds Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) as reports emerge of the alleged felling of 100 trees within its verdant premises.

The incident, which occurred in proximity to hostels 2, 7, and 8, has drawn ire from students and locals alike. While students assert that the trees were axed indiscriminately, university authorities maintain that trimming was conducted to ensure safety.

The lush and verdant expanse of Savitribai Phule Pune University has long been a cherished haven for nature enthusiasts and those seeking tranquil walks. However, this sanctuary has been shaken by recent allegations of tree felling, with a reported count of 100 trees being axed on a Sunday morning. The purported incident took place near hostels 2, 7, and 8 on the campus.

According to students, the tree removal was carried out with a surprising lack of consideration, as the trees were mercilessly chopped down, loaded onto trucks, and removed from the campus premises. Expressions of outrage have poured forth from both the local community and the student body, demanding severe repercussions for those held responsible for the unauthorized tree cutting and the resultant loss of the thriving foliage. An anonymous witness stated that the tree-cutting crew commenced their activities early in the morning, proceeding despite having no apparent authorization. They persisted in their task with apparent urgency, blatantly disregarding the necessary permissions. The logs from the roughly one hundred trees that were felled were subsequently loaded onto a waiting truck.

Vilas Kumkale, a Ph.D. student, shed light on the situation during a conversation with Pune Pulse, saying, “When inquired about the tree cutting, they claimed to have removed only those trees that posed a threat during the monsoon season. We have now formally requested written clarification on this matter, and a thorough investigation will be demanded to ascertain whether only genuinely hazardous trees were targeted.”

In a separate conversation with Pune Pulse, Ravindra Kamble, the Horticulture Mistri, offered a different perspective, explaining, “The trees haven’t been entirely removed. Pruning was carried out to ensure the safety of pedestrians in the vicinity.”

The incident has spurred a clash of narratives, with students and witnesses asserting indiscriminate tree removal, while university representatives contend that the actions were taken to enhance safety and were well within established protocols. As discussions continue, the fate of the fallen trees and the veracity of the university’s claims remain subjects of intense scrutiny.

By Madhupriya Dhanwate