Around 30 trees were cut for a Metro parking lot in Sector 15 here, on Wednesday evening, without obtaining permission from the district forest office.
A Noida Authority officer, however, claimed the trees were only ‘pruned’ and the authority would fell them after obtaining permission sometime soon.
When the HT team visited the Sector 15 parking site on Thursday, it found 14 large trees reduced to trunks.
Over a dozen trees were found reduced to stumps — cut at three feet from the ground. Workers were cutting long logs to small pieces for transportation. A bulldozer was leveling the ground.
Gardeners Prem Chand and Dharam Pal Singh along with some others were removing the logs to a storage site.
A Delhi Metro official at the site said he was looking after the shifting of shanties from the site and the cutting of trees and leveling of the ground was being done by the authority.
Ashok Kumar, an authority employee who was supervising the work at the site, said his job was to clear the logs from the site by evening, as senior officers were to visit the site.
Heaps of logs cut from the site were found at a storage near the entry gate.
The authority’s Horticulture Director, B Prabhakar, told HT, “Around 30 trees need cutting at the parking site. We have pruned the trees and not cut them from ground level. We will take permission from the district forest department soon and cut the trees. For developing a parking lot, cutting of trees was necessary.”
Member of the NGO Kalp Variksha, Prabhakar Rao, told HT, “Last night I happened to pass by the site and noticed cutting of trees. I think cutting of trees was not necessary. The way trees have been cut does not amount to pruning, but it is practically killing them.”
District forest department officer Ashok Kumar, when contacted, told HT, “Permission is required before cutting of the trees. Till today, we have not received any application from the authority for cutting of trees at the Metro parking site in Sector 15.”
Several residents HT spoke to expressed the view that while trees had to be cut for development of parking lots and other projects, the authority should take necessary permission from the concerned departments.
Noida is a developing city and cutting of trees is inevitable for development, they said.