Thane: Shiv Sena workers, irate over the forest fire on a hill in Mangrul village, Ambarnath, which destroyed thousands of trees spread over 80 acres in recent weeks, went on a rampage on Monday. Shrikant Shinde, Member of Parliament (MP), led a morcha to the office of the chief conservator of forests (territorial) Thane, and in true Sena style, they barged into the office and demanded an inquiry into the fire incident. As they did so, they hurled pots full of ashes and charred remains of the trees on forest staff.
The rattled officials had to call police, in the face of the barrage of sloganeering Sena workers. Shinde, along with volunteers, had recently planted 70,000 trees under the state government’s initiative to plant 50 crore trees in three years. Last year, more than 15,000 people had planted one lakh trees in Mangrul village in Malanggad. However, there was a fire which destroyed thousands of trees.
At that time, forest officials had succeeded in salvaging many trees, but again on November 14, there was another fire, leaving two barren hills in its wake, with almost 70 per cent of the trees destroyed. There has been no enquiry into the cause of these fires. Infuriated at the negligence of the forest department, Shinde decided to protest and has demanded an inquiry against errant forest officials.