Nagpur: Violating the amended Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Preservation and Tree Protection Act, 1975. The Chief Officer of Bhandara Municipal Council has given permission to the Public Works Department (PWD) to fell about 63 trees through the 2 separate permissions.
Under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Council, the chief officer is the Tree Officer. Which gives the right to allow all fallen trees. The chief officer named Vinod Jadhav has allegedly bypassed the amended Act. In which it is mandatory to declare about 50 years old as a ‘heritage’ tree to increase the cover of trees and forest. And if all of these trees are allowed to be cut. Then these project proponents will again have to plant trees equal to the age of the fallen people.
An inquiry is already pending against the chief officer of Akot Municipal Council for allowing the public works department to cut about 153 trees. Most of those trees were of heritage.
The Deputy Engineer of public works department had sought permission on the dates of June 21 and July 13, 2021 to cut about 63 trees in the quarters of the government office in Civil Lines. The Chief Officer gave this permission on the date of October 4, 2021. When this amended Act had already come into force.
Nadeem Khan, Bhandara Honorary Wildlife Warden, who had received many complaints from Dr. Suhas Gajbhiye and others. The alarm was sounded and the felling was stopped on a very large scale but almost all the trees were cut down. This harvesting caused huge ecological damage and many birds lost their homes.
Two Separate Tree Cut Orders
Nadeem Khan has alleged that before cutting down all these trees, no procedure was followed, no permission was sought from the tree authority. And under the guise of the same permission, all these trees were also cut in the circuit house.
Shailendra Singh Rajput of the Wildlife Watch Foundation has said that orders were issued to cut two different types of trees with the same number of outliers. Permission has been given for about 27 trees within one order. And in the second order, permission was given to fell an equal number of about 36 trees. And in addition, the permission to fell an additional 12 trees is handwritten. Which gives rise to a doubt. All these trees were cut in the last two days by the contractor whose name is Naresh Bhure. Those who have already been put under the black list by the Forest Department.
Nadeem Khan has said that only permission was sought to cut the branches of all those trees. Which can also pose a danger to all residents. But all these trees have been cut very hastily. And a tractor-load has also been carried. He has said that all the trees which have been cut, all those trees have been kept in front of the government hostel.
The Deputy Engineer of public works department named Bharat Meshram has given a conflicting reply, we have cut only 2 trees. Remaining trees have been cut by the superintendent of government hostel. However, permission was sought to cut about 57 trees. But I do not know at all who has cut all these trees.