Pune: Around 50-60 saplings were uprooted from the river bank of Devnadi in Baner to lay drainage pipelines, without taking permission from the garden department of the Pune Municpal Corporation (PMC).
Ravi Kamble, Horticulture Inspector of Garden Department of PMC said, “The drainage department was installing sewage pipelines and uprooted the saplings without taking permission from us. But after we got news about it, we stopped the work and those saplings were replanted again.”
There were 300 saplings planted by the PMC on the banks of river Devnadi, behind Kumar Pinakin, to maintain the green cover of the surrounding area. Members of Area Sabah Association Pune (ASAP) have been following-up with Tree Authority Chairman (TAC) Kunal Kumar regarding tree plantation as per Tree Act rules, 1975, said Sapna Narayan, Convenor of ASAP
Lack of internal communication between PMC departments led to this fiasco. “There is a Mumbai HC order issued in the matter of case 41/2011 that all drainage lines alongside Devnadi have to be removed. So, this is in direct contempt of the court. Also, they didn’t get permission from any tree officers to uproot the saplings. This shows that there is absolutely no coordination between departments within PMC,” Narayan said.
Violation of HC order
“In 2012, the Mumbai High Court had ordered the PMC to take the area under their possession and undertake forestation. It had also asked the PMC to remove the sewage line and debris from Devnadi, besides clearing the area of encroachments. But no steps were taken. The High Court order also says that no drainage or sewage lines should be installed alongside Devnadi,” said Anupam Saraph, a member of ASAP, who is following up the high court judgement.
Drainage Department’s response
Jagdish Khanavare, Supritendent Engineer of PMC’s Drainage Department said, “The contract of laying drainage pipeline was given to Rutu Enterprises and while laying those pipelines, the saplings were coming within its alignment. Those saplings were mistakenly uprooted and have been replanted at the same place.”