Maharashtra government to probe illegal tree cutting since 2010
Around 25,000 tree cutting permissions were sanctioned between 2010 and 2016.mumbai Updated: Mar 31, 2017 00:30 IST
Taking complaints of illegal tree felling seriously, the Maharashtra government has decided to probe alleged violations. Authorities in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region grant permission to cut trees only if certain conditions are fulfilled. The state will investigate those who have violated these conditions. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said those found guilty, including government officials, will be punished.
Around 25,000 tree cutting permissions were sanctioned between 2010 and 2016. The government will direct all municipal corporations to investigate these permissions. The probe will include the grounds on which the permissions were sanctioned, whether conditions were followed or whether there were any violations, Fadnavis said.
“Those who are found guilty will be punished. Even government officials will not be spared,” he added.
Fadnavis was replying to queries raised by legislators during a calling attention motion on the issue. Legislators complained that though local authorities had specified several conditions to be met before permission to cut trees is granted, these conditions are often violated.
They asked for tips to ensure that trees transplanted by the people survive. Authorities have specified transplantation as one of the conditions that must be met before trees can be cut to accommodate development work.
Fadnavis said the government will start geo-tagging and geo-mapping trees in the MMR so they have a record of the area’s green cover and can identify areas in which trees have been cut. The state will set up a website to provide information about tree conservation and tips to ensure transplanted trees survive.