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Bengal civic body chief gets trees cut around his house after one damages boundary wall

The trees were planted at least 36 years ago for the beautification of the area, soil preservation and to save environment, a local resident said.

kolkata Updated: Jun 18, 2018 10:07 IST
Sreyasi Pal
Sreyasi Pal
Hindustan Times, Berhampore
Bengal,Murshidabad,Beldanga
Workers take away the trees that were cut around the house of Beldanga Municipality chairman Bharat Jhawar in in Murshidabad district. (HT Photo)

The chairman of Beldanga Municipality in Murshidabad district allegedly organised the felling of seven old trees from around his house after one Mahogany tree fell on the boundary wall of his house during a storm on May 17 and damaged parts of the wall.

This incident triggered protests from nature lovers of the area and local residents also lodged a complaint against the civic chief, Bharat Jhawar, with the block development officer, Beldanga, alleging that the tree were felled illegally and sold the logs without inviting a tender. The trees felled include mahogany, krishnachura and radhachura. All of them stood close to the chairman’s residence.

“The trees were more than 35-40 years old. Local people and former chairman of Beldanga municipality Bijan Mukherjee planted the trees for the beautification of the area, soil preservation and to save the environment,” said Tapan Biswas, a resident of Ashram Para.

“The chairman did not bother to consult me before felling the trees. He must have had some vested interest,” said Mohan Chhajer, the local councilor.

Jhawar argued that the trees were planted in an unplanned manner and that was why he decided to uproot them. “If we kept the trees as they were, major damage could have happened to my residences as well as some of the neighbouring houses. The local councillor has lost people’s support in his area. So, now he keeps complaining against me in every possible place.”

Subhranshu Mondal, the block development officer, said that he had gone through the complaint and would take it up with the appropriate authorities.

First Published: Jun 18, 2018 10:07 IST