Thane: After authorities from Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation cut down two healthy trees. Social activists from Ulhasnagar protested by organizing a condolence meeting and performing the last right of the branches of the trees. However, officials from the UMC claim they trim the trees which fall late at night.
Sarita Khanchandani, a social activist and founder of Hirali foundation along with social workers had performed the condolence meeting on Wednesday. "On Wednesday at 9:30 am, I received a call from Prem Jamnani. He informed me about two healthy trees cut off. The three were cut off in the premises of Heera society and other nearby Indian overseas banks. We are surprised that these trees were cut off by six to seven fire brigade officials and we have pictures to prove it," added Khanchandani who performed a last rite on the tree by putting a white cloth on the cut branches and performing the rituals.
Khanchandani claims when they questioned the authorities first about the cutting they denied speaking about it. "For cutting any tree the authorities need permission from the Municipal commissioner and that too after inspection from the tree committee. We have also filed a PIL in the high court against the tree falling. As per the HC order, the UMC was asked to form a tree committee but UMC had not formed any committee and didn't even carry out any inspection. It's the brutal killing of two healthy trees and the authorities should initiate an inquiry into and take action against the cutting of the tree," added Khanchandani further stating the UMC officials visited the site and said the tree fell overnight over another. "So they carried out the trimming work. But if a tree falls it may have damaged the wall or any vehicle. But the locals claim not a single thing is damaged and they are developing a new story," she added.
Ashok Naikwade, deputy municipal commissioner, UMC who visited the spot said, "On Tuesday one tree branch fell on another tree. Resulting in traffic issues on the road. After receiving a complaint the tree trimming work was done. No illegal cutting of trees is done by the UMC," added Naikwade.