Massive branches cut in name of trimming in Pune’s Bavdhan area

Residents cut tree branches citing proximity to road and obstruction of streetlights.

pune Updated: Apr 18, 2018 15:25 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,maharashtra,tree trimming
Trees being trimmed in Ramnagar colony in Bavdhan on April 13.(Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)

The cutting of massive tree branches close to the trunk in the name of ‘trimming’ trees has come to light at Ram Nagar colony, a quiet residential neighbourhood with around 50 societies in Bavdhan.

The tree cutting appears to be a clear violation of the trimming permission granted by the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) Tree Authority on November 6, 2017. The tree authority had permitted the residents to trim branches up to a length of two to three metres each.

Responding to the incident, Beena Menon, president, Ram Nagar Colony Mandal, said, “We had permissions to trim the trees in our colony, which is a private area and we have done nothing wrong in trimming branches of trees which are dangerous or close to the road.”

Ashish Saraf, a member of the Ram Nagar Management Committee, in-charge of streetlights for the colony, said that the colony had applied to the tree authority on August 8, 2017, for permission to trim the trees. The permission came a few months later.

“An official came for a survey of the trees that we had initially marked as dangerous. We had a list of trees that we felt were close to the road or obstructing a streetlight,” said Saraf.

Saraf said that about 5,000 residents reside in the society and tree trimming was raised as an issue at a society meeting after a car was trapped under a fallen tree branch.

“We received a sanction to trim 84 trees. However, we have trimmed only 34 trees as the contractor demanded Rs 800 per tree. We didn’t have the necessary funds and therefore did not trim all the trees,” said V Vijayan, committee member, Ram Nagar Management Committee. The committee members added that they have reused the tree branches as fence posts for an open plot or to hold the poop pickers within the colony.

The permission, dated November 6, 2017, specified that two to three branches of 0.40m to 0.60m in width and branches with a length of two to three metres each may be trimmed. The approximate age of these huge trees have been recorded as 18 to 40 years.

Anil Sabale, tree officer-in-charge of Kothrud, Aundh, Baner and Bavdhan, said that the residential colony was directed to a contractor to help trim the trees.

Huge branches have been ruthlessly chopped instead of being trimmed at Ramnagar. (Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)

“We conducted a survey and decided on which tree, which species, how much to trim and how many branches to trim. Every detail is specified in the permission,” he said.

Trimming, according to the tree authority, is the cutting of two or three branches and in the case of a rain tree or Ashoka tree, cutting up to seven metres above the stump.

“We only allow residents to trim those branches which appear to be dangerous or are dangerously close to the road or an obstruction to streetlights. Trees once trimmed grow back quickly and we recommend every society to trim the branches of older trees in the event of them falling during monsoon,” said Anil.

First Published: Apr 18, 2018 15:25 IST