Pune Municipal Corporation permission for green cover loss: 6,139 trees razed in 2018-19
A total of 6,139 trees have been cut down for infrastructure development in 2018-19 in the city, with permission from Pune Municipal Corporation.
Majority of the trees were chopped for the metro corridor and road development and expansion in the city. Some of the trees also fell for reasons such as the development of residential society and schools.
Ganesh Sonawane, PMC tree officer said, “Permission for cutting trees is only granted on the condition which mandates that those involved, must either plant three trees in another area or undertake the transplantation of the trees. While giving permissions, we take Rs 10,000 as deposit money as well.”
According to Sonawane, teams from the tree department, visit sites where trees are planted or transplanted after two years to ensure work is done properly. Failing to do so, leaves the deposited money in the coffers of the PMC, said Sonawane.
While on one hand the civic body officials are justifying razing of trees, PMC’s annual Environment Status Report (ESR) for 2018-19 states that the air pollution level has gone up in the city.
The ESR report clearly points out uncontrolled tree cutting as one of the driving force behind the increasing pollution in the city.
Gufran Beig, project director, Safar (System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research) said, “While the other sources of pollution in the city are increasing consistently, the options of minimising the pollution is depleting significantly. Trees contribute in a major way of reducing air pollution. Cutting of trees in such huge numbers will certainly lead to increasing in the air pollution.”
Safar envisages a research-based management system where strategies of air pollution mitigation go hand in hand with the nation’s economic development to target a win-win scenario.
From February 2018-April 2019
Place: Road and footpath development by PMC in Chandnichowk
Number of Trees cut: 2399
Place: Rajas society, Katraj Chowk to Shatrunjay mandir road expansion
Number of trees cut: 490
Place: Mahalaxmi lawns to Cummins college road
Number of trees cut: 250
Place: for construction of Building department office and Fire drill training centre
Number of trees cut: 125
Place: Rajiv Gandhi Zoo, Katraj
Number of trees cut: 527
Place: New building construction at Yerwada
Number of trees cut: 135
Place: Nagar road
Number of trees cut: 74
Number of trees: 340
Place: Deccan college, Yerwada
Number of trees: 229
Number of trees: 127
Place: Shukravar Peth
Number of trees: 103
Place: Near Pune railway station
Number of trees: 22
Place: Pan city permissions given for residential societies
Number of trees: 1,318
Some of the reasons for tree cutting:
1) Maha-Metro corridor
2) Construction and expansion of city roads
3) Trees which created hindrances for the different construction
4) For basement constructions of various buildings
5) Trees obstructing the traffic flow
6) Old trees
7) For development of amenity spaces
8) Trees very close to residential complexes