As the battle against tree-cutting in the city continues, environmental activists have got a positive sign from the Bombay High Court (HC). On November 2, the HC ordered Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to file details about the trees cut in the city for construction purposes and how many have been re-planted so far.
City-based environmental activist Deepak Vahikar had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the state government about permission from Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) Tree Authority Committee (TAC) in the city.
Vahikar had objected to the cutting of trees which obstruct builders during construction or obstruct the common public in any way. According to Vahikar, TAC has been giving the builders permission without checking the ground reality i.e. to see if the trees being cut are being re-planted. Therefore, greenery in the city is decreasing day by day, thereby damaging the environment of Pune.
The Bombay High Court has already passed an order prohibiting the PMC from felling or trimming any tree without permission from the court.
And now, after this most recent development, PMC will have to file an affidavit in the court regarding giving permission to any builder who wants to cut a tree for construction purposes.
The order is issued recently by coram of Justice J N Patel and Justice Smt R P Sondurbaldota. Speaking on this issue, Bhanudas Mane, head of PMC’s Garden Department said, “As per the court order, we have to file an affidavit regarding felling, trimming and re-planting of trees in the city.”
Meanwhile, taking into consideration the fragile ecological balance, the Bombay HC bench of J N Patel and Mridula Bhatkar had passed a final order for cutting trees on July 9, 2009, which affirms that before giving permission to chop or trim a tree, the PMC will have to make a report with the help of experts and submit it to the HC.
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