On Monday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation issued a letter to the Bhandup police asking them to lodge a complaint against an office accessory manufacturing company for the alleged illegal felling of trees in its compound.
According to the BMC, Bhandup-based Manik Metal Trading Company Ltd sought permission to trim 10 trees in its compound on the LBS Marg but cut the branches of the trees.
The BMC maintains that the company violated Section 8 of the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Protection & Preservation of Trees Act, 1975, that makes cutting of trees without permission, illegal. The company is located at Lakhi Industrial House compound in Bhandup (West).
The allegedly illegal cutting of trees was brought to the BMC's notice by activists of Plants and Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), which had filed a complaint against Manik Metal Trading Company Ltd in October.
PAWS activists claimed they had noticed that the company chopped off all the branches of 10 large trees in its compound. The activists clicked photographs of the "illegal tree chopping" and sent a letter to Ramakant Biradar, assistant municipal commissioner, S Ward, to register a formal complaint.
"In this case, we have photographic evidence of the offence. The tree trunks could have been cut off and moved away, leaving no evidence at all. The authorities need to speed up investigation in such cases and collect as much spot evidence as possible," said Sunish Subramanian, secretary, PAWS.
According to S-Ward civic officials, the firm had obtained permission to trim excessive lateral growth of the branches since they obstructed movement of large trucks inside the compound.
"In their explanation, they said most of the branches were falling off regularly, which was found to be unconvincing," said Sunil Pawar, junior tree officer, S Ward.
Subramanian said since LBS Marg, an arterial road, is witnessing new development, protection of the green cover in the area assumes more importance. "It is one of the few remaining arterial roads with green cover," he said.