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65,000 nails removed from trees in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad

PUNE ‘Don’t just plant a tree but protect and respect it’ – A short and strong message is being spread by Angolichi Goli, a city-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), which has removed 1
By Jigar Hindocha
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 06:53 PM IST

PUNE ‘Don’t just plant a tree but protect and respect it’ – A short and strong message is being spread by Angolichi Goli, a city-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), which has removed 1.25 lakh nails from trees across Maharashtra.

Out of 1.25 lakh, the number of nails removed from trees in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad are 65,000, while the rest are from Mumbai, Bhandara and Chandrapur.

The NGO intends to reach out to local government bodies to form rules against the nailing of advertisements on trees. According to the volunteers, this will increase the life span of trees.

“The initiative was noticed by other states as well, in Bihar, people have started the same practice,” said, Madhav Patil, founder, Angolichi Goli.

At least 500 volunteers are part of the initiative which started in mid-2017 and was halted due to Covid.

“In Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, we have resumed the practice from Tuesday (March 2),” said Patil.

“Many times on the roadside we see posters and advertisement put up on trees with help of nails and other metal objects. This practice harms the tree and reduces its life span. We are campaigning to create awareness among people and even civic bodies,” added Patil.

Prashant Raul, environmentalist, founder of Vruksh Mitra, an organisation working for tree conservation, said, “Harming trees is an offence and we should stop such a practise. The civic bodies should take action against such culprits.”

The nails, meanwhile, will be used to sculpt a statue of Shivaji Maharaj, which will be placed at JJ Art Gallery, Mumbai.

What does the law say?

*According to Maharashtra (urban areas), Protection and Preservation of Trees Act, 1975, whoever fells any tree or causes any tree to be felled without reasonable excuse fail to comply with any order issued or condition imposed shall, on conviction, be punished with the fine of not less than Rs1,000 which may extend up to Rs5,000 for every offence and also with imprisonment for a term of not less than one week, which may extend up to one year.

*As per Maharashtra Defacement Act 1995, whoever by himself or through any other person defaces any place open to public view shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with a fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both.

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