Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Residents of Danish Nagar, in the city, most of them women, on Sunday, organised a ‘condolence meeting’ for the around 35 trees in the park of the colony. The trees were allegedly cut at the behest of a top forest officer who lives in the area.
The residents, wearing black clothes, took out a ‘funeral procession’ complete with a bier and a shroud, and wept in remembrance of the trees that were no more. The residents carried placard sayings ‘Van rakshak bana bhakshak’ and ‘Ek ped sau putra saman’ and ‘Pedon ke hatyron ko saza do.”
Anshu Gupta, a social activist, who lives in the area told Free Press that the trees were felled on the intervening night of November 29 and 30 by labourers. The trunks of the trees were taken away whereas the branches were burnt on the ground of the park.
Anshu said that the park was developed by the residents over a period of ten years. “Some of the trees that were felled were up to 80-foot high,” she said. According to her, the trees were felled at the behest of RK Gupta, an IFS officer of the rank of principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF). “Permission was sought from the Bhopal Municipal Corporation by the wife of the officer for getting the trees pruned but instead of pruning, they were felled,” she said.
The residents also submitted an application at the Misrod Police Station and to an additional commissioner of the BMC demanding action against Gupta. They said that the chief minister was planting a sapling every day for conservation of environment while a top officer of his government was getting full-grown trees cut. They demanded that the official should be given exemplary punishment.
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