Pune: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday directed the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to scrap the Tree Authority and nominate the seven expert members afresh.
The NGT, in its order, also stated that Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar will have the authority to grant permission for tree cutting till the new Tree Authority comes into existence.
The PMC appointed the 15 members of the Tree Authority to look into matters pertaining to tree cutting and decide on applications regarding chopping of tree branches, cutting trees for development purpose and also cut dangerous trees to avoid the loss to life and property.
While the municipal commissioner is the ex-officio head of the Tree Authority, seven elected members from the PMC and seven experts having educational qualifications in horticulture, agriculture and botany are appointed to the 15-member authority. However, the civic body appointed the experts, who are not qualified enough as per the set rules.
Noting that the PMC is not following the set rules while nominating the authority members, the NGT ordered the PMC to appoint the seven members afresh.
The NGT also asked the PMC to file separate affidavits on why the elected members of the PMC, who are better qualified than the existing members, not want to be part of the authority and what the PMC would do to nominate other seven members representing social organisations and have necessary qualifications.
When contacted, PMC legal department head Ravindra Thorat said the new seven members will be nominated on the Tree Authority as per the set rules following the NGT order.
The procedure will be initiated soon.