Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray has asked six Sena corporators to resign as members of the tree authority, after the authority allegedly gave its nod to a proposal to cut 52 trees, near the Shyam Nagar pond at Jogeshwari (East).
Thackeray was allegedly upset that the committee members gave their nod to the trees being cut, rather than protecting them.
These corporators include leader of the house, Sunil Prabhu, Prabhakar Shinde, Dilip Shinde, gardens and markets committee chairman, Vilas Chavri, Ramesh Koregaonkar and Manohar Panchal.
Sources said Thackeray took the decision after Sena legislator and Jogeshwari corporator, Ravindra Waikar told him about the proposal being approved. Even though Waikar denied this, he admitted to having sent a letter to the municipal commissioner, protesting the authority’s nod to cut the trees.
Said Waikar, “I have demanded that an inquiry be set up against the officer who brought this proposal.” Waikar added that even though the developer obtained permission to cut the trees and plant 37 others, more than 130 trees had been cut.
However, some Sena workers blame infighting for the controversy.
A Sena corporator, on condition of anonymity said, “Waikar has been losing his grip over the Sena in the BMC to both Prabhu and standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale. Hence, this was his way of showing all Sena corporators he still calls the shots in the BMC.”
Prabhu, however, denied this. “This is just a routine procedure to ensure that new members can join the tree authority. There’s nothing more to it.”
A tree authority member, on condition of anonymity said Thackeray’s concern for trees came too late. “For all these years that the Sena has been in power in the BMC, lakhs of trees have been cut. Where was Thackeray’s love for trees then?”
The tree authority has 25 members, including both corporators and nominated members.