Pune: Residents Protest Unauthorised Tree Felling, Demand Transparency From PMC

Pune: Residents Protest Unauthorised Tree Felling, Demand Transparency From PMC

The focus of their concerns was the alleged “unauthorised” removal of the trees between Someshwar chowk and Ganraj Chowk, in Baner.

Hayat (Nozia) SayyedUpdated: Saturday, January 20, 2024, 03:53 PM IST
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Pune: Residents Protest Unauthorised Tree Felling, Demand Transparency From PMC |

Worried about the green cover of the city, a group of proactive citizens, united in their fight against the ongoing environmental crisis, engaged with Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) authorities on Friday.

The citizens, concerned over the recurring incidents of tree felling, included residents from Baner and Balewadi who took their grievances to the Baner ward office on Friday morning.

The focus of their concerns was the alleged “unauthorised” removal of the trees between Someshwar chowk and Ganraj Chowk, in Baner.

Activists and around 25 residents, from the Balewadi Residents Welfare Association, met with PMC officials; of them, Meghna Bhandari, shared her issues that were discussed in the meeting with FPJ saying, "We noted that the PMC has issued a docket claiming that out of the 81 trees on the stretch between Someshwar Chowk and Ganraj Chowk, approximately 79 are set to be replanted. It came as a shock to us that the PMC officials would do this, hence we chose to raise our concerns."

In the meeting, the citizens group, also questioned the PMC officials about the “success rate of their tree replantation efforts,” to which no satisfactory response was received, informed Bhandari.

They are carrying on tree felling activities across the city in the name of urbanisation but we also observed that there are an inadequate number of trees planted over the past decade on the same stretch, as opposed to the estimated requirement of over 2500 trees. This matter too was brought to the notice of the officials but in vain, she shared.

Residents seek data from PMC

“Not just this but in the meeting, we also challenged their actions of cutting and replanting the trees. Despite claims of this being part of a road widening process, parking lot etc, we were not convinced. Hence, we demanded that PMC officials provide data on the road redesign and clarify the number of trees planned for both sides of the road stretch," shared Vijaya Suratkal, another activist.

Now, the group of citizens have demanded the civic body to make all relevant documents “transparent” and insisted that they halt the current “tree felling” or “replantation” activity on Baner Road.

Lastly, not only this but in a similar effort, the citizens conducted a meeting with the Bibwewadi ward officials too on the same day and successfully raised their concerns about the same issue.

On this, PMC officials responded to the concerns raised by the people, saying they will surely “get back” within three days post discussions.

Workshop on Tree regulation act and rules, Maharashtra:

To raise awareness about tree act and regulations, a citizens' workshop was organised on Saturday at 1:30 pm at the Indradhanushya Environment and Citizenship Centre, Navi Peth. The workshop aimed to educate participants on the intersection of infrastructure development and environmental protection in the state.

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