Trees cut at SPPU chowk: activists, residents flay move
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), on Wednesday, began cutting down trees at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) chowk, heading towards Pashan road, to make space for a footpath and a cycle track. Civic activists and NGOs have strongly opposed this action.
“The PMC has given permission for cutting of 25 trees on the Pashan road in front of the Pune rural police headquarters. Soon the work of new footpaths and cycle tracks will begin here and for that these trees have been chopped. Our demand is that trees should not be cut down for any reason,” said Deepak Shrote of Vasundhara organisation.
“When we came to know about the tree cutting, we immediately rushed to the spot. We were around 50 people and as we went there all the workers went away,” he added.
“There are several cycle tracks around the city not used. Why are these 50-year old trees being cut down, which is harming the environment. This cycle track route should be changed,” said Prashant Kadam, another nearby citizen.
When contacted, Ashok Ghorpade, PMC tree department, said, “We have nothing to do with this tree cutting. The order would have been given by local ward officers. They have been given the authority to give permissions to cut down trees in their respective wards.”
Aundh-Baner ward officer Sandip Khalate did not respond to HT’s calls.