Mumbai: BMC Warns Against Unauthorised Tree Cutting Ahead Of Holi Festivities

Mumbai: BMC Warns Against Unauthorised Tree Cutting Ahead Of Holi Festivities

Emphasising the importance of environmental conservation, the BMC has stressed that illegal deforestation will be met with severe consequences.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Thursday, March 21, 2024, 07:20 PM IST
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BMC | File pic

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued a stern warning to citizens against cutting down trees in anticipation of the upcoming festival of Holi for the traditional Holika Dahan ceremony. Emphasising the importance of environmental conservation, the BMC has stressed that illegal deforestation will be met with severe consequences.

According to BMC officials, any unauthorized tree felling will result in strict legal action, including the possibility of imprisonment. The corporation has invoked Section 21 of the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Tree Conservation and Development Act, 1975, which prohibits tree felling without prior permission from the Tree Authority.

"The period surrounding the festival of Holi is not a time for tree felling of any kind, We urge all citizens to refrain from such activities and instead cooperate in preserving our natural heritage", stated Jitendra Pardeshi, Superintendent of Gardens and Secretary of the Tree Authority.

Citizens are reminded that during the upcoming festival of Holi this Sunday, any instances of unauthorized tree felling should be promptly reported to the authorities. Vigilant individuals are encouraged to inform the BMC or local police stations, or contact the toll-free number '1916' of the Municipal Corporation in case of any violations.

Under the provisions of the Maharashtra Tree Conservation and Development Act, those found guilty of illegal tree felling may face fines ranging from one thousand to five thousand rupees for each offense. Additionally, imprisonment may be imposed for a period ranging from one week to one year.

"It is the collective responsibility of all citizens to safeguard our natural resources, trees play a crucial role in providing us with oxygen and maintaining ecological balance. Therefore, it is imperative that we work together to protect and nurture them," emphasised Pardeshi. With Holi approaching, the corporation urges citizens to celebrate responsibly while respecting the environment.

Punishment and Action if Norms Are Violated:

1. Fine: Violators of tree felling norms may face fines ranging from one thousand to five thousand rupees for each offense.

2. Imprisonment: In addition to fines, imprisonment may also be imposed for a period ranging from one week to one year, as per the severity of the violation.

3. Legal Action: Strict legal action will be taken against those involved in unauthorized tree felling, as mandated by Section 21 of the Maharashtra Tree Conservation and Development Act.

4. Reporting: Any instances of unauthorized tree felling should be promptly reported to the authorities, either to the BMC, local police stations, or via the toll-free number '1916' of the Municipal Corporation.


Section 21 of Maharashtra (Urban Areas)Protection and Preservation of Trees Act, 1975 states

21. Whoever fells any tree or causes any tree to be felled in contravention of the provisions or without reasonable excuse fails to comply with any order issued or condition imposed [by the Tree Officer or the Tree Authority or voluntarily obstructs any member of the Tree Authority or the Tree Officer or any officers and servants subordinate to him in the discharge of their functions under this Act, shall, on conviction, be punished with the fine of not less than one thousand rupees which may extend upto five thousand rupees for every offence and also with imprisonment for a term of not less than one week, which may extend upto one year: Provided that, nothing is this section shall apply to the felling of trees on or along the public roads undertaken by the Public Works Department of the State or Central Government.]

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