Posted On Monday, January 11, 2010 at 10:38:07 PM
It’s been only a few days since the PMC’s Garden Department decided to file criminal cases against offenders who illegally chop trees instead of charging them the compromise fee, and they didn’t waste any time translating the law into action.
Two organisations, including one housing society, in the last four days have received notices from the Garden Department for cutting trees illegally.
In the first case, Snehbandh Society in Subhashnagar, Vishrantwadi, was charged with chopping five silver oaks. The society had got permission from the Tree Authority for pruning and chopping branches, but instead, they cut the trees seven metres from the ground.
The society had obtained permission by saying that the trees posed a threat to the slums situated outside their compound.
An alert citizen called the Garden Department about the incident and an officer went to the spot and conducted a panchnama of the incident.
In another case the department sent a notice to a Bibwewadi-based organisation — Medical Mission Sisters Association. This letter was sent based on the complaint of a local resident of the area who had approached NCP corporator, Sunil Bibwe, to say that 20 to 25 trees in the premises of the organisation were chopped.
A youth took photos of the trees and Bibwe forwarded a complaint to Garden Department.
“Based on the complaint and the photographs given by the locals, officers of the Garden Department visited the spot and conducted a panchnama,” said Ashok Ghorpade, assistant garden superintendent of PMC.
“We are going through both cases. Initially, we have issued notices. We are waiting for a reply from the authorities,” he added.
When contacted, Sister Irin Fernandes, vice president of the Medical Mission Sisters Association, said, “I am not aware of any such complaint.
In fact, we are facing problems from some people outside the organisation who enter our premises and cut trees for their own purposes.”