Mystery Behind Poisoned EEH Trees: NOC To Hoardings Given By Railways

Mystery Behind Poisoned EEH Trees: NOC To Hoardings Given By Railways

As part of the city’s beautification project, the BMC had planted several trees along the EEH.

Aishwarya Iyer SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Saturday, May 11, 2024, 01:08 AM IST
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Poisoned EEH Trees | FPJ

In the mystery pertaining to 41 trees poisoned on the Eastern Express Highway in Ghatkopar East allegedly to allow visibility to hoardings on the stretch, the BMC said that the no-objection certificate (NOC) provided to the companies erecting the hoardings was given by the railways.

Meanwhile, the Pant Nagar police are in the process of recording witness statements of over 20 persons working or residing nearby, including workers at a petrol pump.

The FIR in the matter was registered in June last year by the BMC with the Pant Nagar police. This year in April, the BMC filed two complaints and three FIRs regarding similar incidents.

As part of the city’s beautification project, the BMC had planted several trees along the EEH. During a routine inspection on April 20, the officials of the garden department found 22 foxtail palm and 16 peltophorum (flame) trees poisoned in the Ramabai Nagar area. It was found that the trees were drilled and chemicals injected into them.

After an internal inquiry, BMC officials said, “We noticed a similar incident last year in a few trees on EEH. We suspect that certain firms sought a better view of their advertising banners. The garden department handed over their findings to the license department for inquiry and cancellation licenses of companies holding rights to the hoardings.” 

Anil Kate, the superintendent of the license department said, “We had not given the license for the hoardings. After looking into the matter during an internal inquiry, we found out that the NOC was originally allotted by the railways. We have now informed the railway authorities about the incident and have sought stringent action against those responsible.”

An official from the Central Railway said, “We will look into the matter as per rule. As of now, we haven’t received any letter regarding the suspension of licenses for any advertising hoardings.”

As per a senior police official, the last CCTV footage we found was from the petrol pump. Towards the bridge, there are no CCTV cameras, which makes it difficult to locate the offenders. We are currently recording statements of more people for inputs.”

Inputs by Kamal Mishra

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