The BSES is in the dock again. This time not for erratic power supply but for pruning trees without the requisite permission from the Forest Department.
The Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) on Friday issued notices to the distcom for allegedly pruning trees in Janakpuri, west Delhi. The notices were issued after a resident in the ‘B’ Block complained that the trees were mercilessly chopped off and an inspection by the forest officials.
“I was nursing the fully grown trees for the last several years. I was into tears when I found only the stumps with all the branches chopped off when I returned home from office in the evening,” said the complainant, who did not want to be identified. He said: “They have butchered the trees”.
DCF Prabhat Tyagi said as per the Delhi Preservation of Tree Act, 1994, prior permission has to be taken even before chopping a branch of a tree. “We did not receive any letter seeking permission to cut the branches,” he said.
Inspection by the officials of the Forest Department revealed that two trees had been pruned heavily while another six has medium pruning. According to the Act, the punishment for tree cutting is imprisonment upto one year. Fine too is imposed. The fine for every branch cut is Rs 5,000.
According to the BSES officials, the trees could have been pruned due to overhead electric wires which are dangerously close to the branches. “This can lead to a dangerous situation during rains,” an official said.
On the notice served on them, a BSES spokesman said so far they have not received it. “When we receive the notice, we will file our reply,” said the spokesman.