Even as the controversy over the recent death of eight Humboldt penguins continues, non-government organisation Plants and Animals Welfare Society (PAWS) has approached the civic body claiming trees were cut during the renovation of Byculla zoo. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has refuted the allegations.
The organisation, in its letters, has asked the civic body to survey the area and submit the data on number of trees in the area and take action against those responsible for it. The letter stated trees were cut outside the security cabin of the zoo near the entrance/exit. The organisation has also attached photographs as proofs.
“We are yet to receive the letter from PAWS. We will respond to them immediately. No trees were cut during the renovation. As a part of renovation we are planting new shrubs in the area,” said an official from the garden department on condition of anonymity.
Sanjay Tripathi, zoo director, said, “It must be shrub replantation. No proposal to cut trees was ever sent to the garden department for zoo expansion.”
While getting the plan approved four years ago, the BMC had said no trees will be cut within the premises.
Echoing the views of the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC), the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) had then stipulated the BMC should protect trees inside the premises of Byculla zoo and retain the existing heritage structures and animal enclosures before going ahead with its revamp.