Pune: After a petition by Shukracharya Gaikwad, a resident of Pleasant Park Society, Wanawadi, to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) court on December 12, stating that 66 trees in the society which are more than 35-years-old are to be cut, even though they are not dangerous to the residents, six of them were axed on December 11.
On December 13, NGT ordered Gaikwad to write a complaint letter to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and to the society secretary and chairman, as they are the ones supporting tree cutting.
According to Gaikwad, there are several trees which come under the green belt area, and the chairman and the secretary of the society are axing these trees year after year, so that they can sell the wood.
Gaikwad said, “After I saw the trees being uprooted, I asked the contractor the reason behind it. He stated that PMC has ordered them to axe 66 more such trees under this green belt. I directly went to NGT and filed a petition and the next hearing will be on
Ajit Gorde, society secretary, defended the action and said, “Three trees were bent due to strong winds in July 2017. We took permission from the PMC and cut those trees, as they were dangerous. Those trees were on axed December 11 by a PMC contractor. Gaikwad had a misunderstanding and for no reason, approached NGT. We have all documents stating that we are right and we are not felling any tree for any other reasons.”
Gorde also added, “According to some members of the society who stay on third floor and above, the branches of the trees are creating problems in closing the windows. So, we have permission from PMC to trim the branches of 35 trees, which we have identified, but the work has not started yet.”
Area garden inspector Rajendra Kalaskar said, “We do not have the rights to cut any trees on private land, so we appoint a contractor for it. We have not axed any tree without reason. Also, there is no such order regarding cutting 66 trees.”