Mumbai: ‘Claims against tree panel experts baseless’

Mumbai: After the proposal to cut 2,185 trees and replant 461 trees for the construction of Metro 3 car shed in Aarey Colony in Goregaon was approved by gaining majority votes in the Tree Authority meeting, the proposal was approved by a majority, but Shiv Sena strongly opposed the project.

Shiv Sena has alleged that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Bharatiya Janata Party has approved the proposal for the benefit of the metro rail.

As per the proposal, 2,238 trees will be chopped that were an obstacle in the construction of the car shed in Aarey, while 469 trees will be replanted.

Though the Shiv Sena strongly opposed the proposal to cut 2,238 trees, the decision on the proposal was taken by voting among the members of the Tree Authority.

The proposal was approved after getting 8 votes in favour and 6 against it. Shiv Sena and the Congress alleged that three expert panel members had given their vote for the proposal as they were given money to do so.

On Sept 16, members of the Tree Authority panel of experts Shashi Rekha Kumar and Dr Chandrakant Salunkhe had written a mail to the BMC chief Praveen Pardeshi, who is also the chairman of the tree committee, stating that their reputation has been maligned.

They wrote that the unruly behaviour of committee members during the meeting and allegations of bribe had been levied on them by some members for clearing the project.

Replying to the mail, Pardeshi said the charges made against them of any financial wrongdoing or unethical behaviour are totally baseless, and as the chairman of the committee affirm the charges were baseless.

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