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Sixty saplings make way for new drainage line in Pune

Residents and Area Sabha Association of Pune (ASAP) members in Devnadi

pune Updated: Jul 09, 2017 16:11 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
Activists have written a letter to Pune municipal commissioner and Tree Authority regarding the damage done to the saplings.(PHOTO HT)

As many as 60 saplings were uprooted for laying a drainage line along Devnadi thus shocking the residents and Area Sabha Association of Pune (ASAP) members.

Ambadas Choudhari, resident of Regency Classic, said, “When I was going to office, I saw JCBs stationed around the area near Devnadi on the highway, near Regency Classic on Friday. They had done a lot of damage to the saplings; some of the members of the society even went to speak to the contractors. The contractors said they had a high court order. This enraged the members of the Citizens of Area Sabha Association of Pune (ASAP), formed for a single cause to implement the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Protection and Preservation of Trees Act, 1975.”

The group has written a letter to the Pune municipal commissioner and Tree Authority chairman Kunal Kumar regarding the damage done to the saplings planted along side Devnadi.

Contractors said they had a high court order. (PHOTO HT)

“There is a Mumbai HC order issued in matter of case 41 / 2011 that all drainage line alongside Devnadi be removed. So this is in direct contempt of court. Also, there is no permission from any tree officers to uproot the trees. This shows that there is absolutely no coordination between departments within PMC. When a common citizen cuts or trims a tree, there is a hefty fine levied on them. In this case, its the people in authority themselves who are violating the rules. There should be an FIR filed against the wrong doers and also strict action taken against officials and authorities who uprooted these trees and who participated in this act. Tree plantation is not the difficult part, but its survival is,” said Anupam Saraph.

“If this is going to be the fate of saplings and trees in Pune city which is fast becoming one of the polluted cities in Maharashtra, then there is no hope in achieving the commitment made by Prime Minister Modi at COP21, Paris, of reducing the carbon footprint to 30 per cent by 2030,” he said.

The content of the letter to civi chief reads: This is with reference to the above subject. On 13th Sept 2016, one of your commitments to ASAP group was to immediately plant 1000 trees along Devnadi. On 6th Dec 2016 we had to again follow up with you on the same. Your then tree officer Mrs Preeti Sinha planted around 300 trees in place of 1000 trees along the Devnadi in the month of April 2017, after 7 months of continuous follow up.Ever since then, the citizens of that area has been watering and nurturing those saplings. Today on 8th July 2017, we have got the information that a drainage pipeline is being laid along the Devnadi and many of those saplings are getting uprooted.Please note that laying a drainage line along the Devnadi is in complete contempt of the order issued in the matter of case 41/2011 by the Mumbai high Court.

Residents claim that laying of drainage line along Devnadi is contempt of high court order. (PHOTO HT)

Uprooting these trees are in direct violation of the Tree Act 1975, what FIR's have been filed against the officials / authorities who have uprooted the trees? The letter also asks for copy of the permissions given by Tree Officer / Tree Authority to the officials / authorities for uprooting these trees

It requests the authorities to immediately give orders to stop the work and take strict action against those who are violating the court rules

First Published: Jul 09, 2017 15:19 IST