In Mumbai: Book activist for moving NGT against tree pruning, says Thane mayor | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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In Mumbai: Book activist for moving NGT against tree pruning, says Thane mayor

In a letter to the TMC chief, Meenakshi Shinde pulled up the civic administration for not filing a case of culpable homicide against Indulkar

mumbai Updated: Jul 28, 2017 00:03 IST
Megha Pol
Mangled remains of a car after a tree fell on it at Panchpakhadi, Thane, on July 14.
Mangled remains of a car after a tree fell on it at Panchpakhadi, Thane, on July 14. (Praful Gangurde)

Thane mayor blamed environmentalist and petitioner Pradeep Indulkar for a lawyer’s death. Kishore Paware died last week after a tree fell on him in Thane.

In a letter to the municipal commissioner, Meenakshi Shinde pulled up civic administration for not filing a case of culpable homicide against Indulkar.

She said it was Indulkar had approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against tree cutting in Thane and based on his petition, the NGT refused permission to prune trees before monsoon.

Shinde said, “The NGT passed its orders based on the petition filed by Indulkar, who sought a ban on TMC cutting or pruning trees. The NGT only heard the petitioner’s side. It should have given the civic body the opportunity of presenting its side as well. The loss of life and property in the city is all because of the NGT’s decision. Hence, the municipal commissioner must answer why shouldn’t the TMC not file a case of culpable homicide against Indulkar.”

She said considering the recent fatality, the civic commissioner should permit trimming and pruning of trees to avoid similar accidents.

Speaking to HT Indulkar said he approached the NGT only to stop unscientific trimming of trees.

“The corporation lacks policy and method to identify dangerous trees or how to trim overgrown branches. The rise in the cases of tree fall were owing to the haphazard trimming of trees,” Indulkar said.

“I can prove that there is no policy in place regarding tree cutting. In addition, the NGT’s decision has no mention about not cutting trees. It refrained the civic body from trimming trees until it had a policy in place, for which the TMC was given two months. But the civic body did nothing,” he added.

Indulkar said he has done nothing illegal and hence the NGT upheld his petition.“I’m not against tree cutting, but only against rampant and unscientific hacking.”

More than 403 trees have fallen since May across Thane, of which 202 fell in July.

While Pawre lost his life, three women were injured after tress fell on them in different incidents.