The Haryana Forest Department has issued notices to a five-star hotel, located off the Gurgaon Expressway in Sector 29, for illegally chopping 23 fully grown alastonia trees along its boundary wall.
Haryana forest range officer Devender Rao, who visited Hotel Crowne Plaza on Friday, said: "The hotel authorities have devoid the trees of their crown-green leaves. It is a serious offence under the Indian Forest Act 1927 as well as under the Punjab Land Preservation Act 1900. We could prosecute the hotel authorities in the environment court of Faridabad. They will receive the notices by Saturday," he added.
An NGO, Hariyali, informed the authorities about the trees. Vivek Kamboj, who runs the NGO, said these trees could die for the want of green leaves. "Even if some of these survive, they will take years to regain their old shape." "The lopped trees along the hotel were on government land. The hotel authorities should have given valid reasons and taken the forest department's permission to lop these trees," Rao said.
Ravinder Rana, who identified himself as the administrator of Hotel Crowne Plaza, admitted the trees were lopped about a week back. "But we took the verbal consent of the horticulture department. We had to remove the leaves as some disease had affected them and the leaves were dying. It was a bad sight," he said.
Rao said none of the trees in the vicinity were affected by any disease. "The hotel authorities are giving lame excuses to cover their act," he said.