Pune: Two branches of Ficus religiosa tree (peepal) was chopped by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), as it was causing ‘disturbance’ to the digital board installed by Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCDCL). Now officials of the PMC and the PSCDCL are blaming each other over this issue.
Sameer Nikam, founder of NGO Clean River Society, said, “On February 1, the branches of the tree located opposite Bhikardas Maruti Mandir bus stop on Bajirao Road was chopped.”
He pointed out areas in the city where digital boards are installed under huge branches of trees. He added, “I had written to PMC six months ago about the same, as I feared that the branches of the trees might be cut. On February 1, two branches of the peepal tree were chopped and the digital board removed. There are other digital boards installed under the huge tree branches at Good Luck Chowk on Ferguson College Road and Sancheti Bridge Chowk. If PMC does not take any further action, I will have to lodge a police complaint.”
Nikam added, “I wrore to the PMC on February 2, asking them why branches of the tree were cut as they could have installed the digital boards in open spaces and not under any tree.”
The concerned officials of PMC and PSCDCL are blaming each other for the issue. Tushar Daundkar, Deputy Commissioner of PMC’s Sky and Sign Department, said, “We have only given permission to install the digital boards but the implementation was done by PSCDCL.”
Anuj Mahajan, PSCDCL consultant, said, “There are 155 digital boards placed in various areas of the city. I was unaware about this issue. The digital boards were installed by looking at the utility services we get in the particular area. I will look into this issue and solve it soon.”
Madhav Deshpande, Tree Officer of Vishrambaug Ward Office, zone 5, said, “The branches of the tree were chopped as it was disturbing the screen on the digital board. Shifting the digital board could have taken a long time, so the branches were cut.”