Activists protest damage to 6 trees on Aundh Road

Tree activists have alleged that six trees along the Aundh Road have been damaged during the ongoing road works on the stretch. While a few have lost their branches, the trunks of a couple have been badly chopped, risking their survival.

Activists have taken up the matter with the Tree Authority of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the road and garden departments.

The half-a-dozen trees located between Bremen Circle and the Millennium Gate of Savitribai Phule Pune University are a part of the hundredodd trees which had been identified for felling a couple of years ago, in order to make way for the road-widening works.Environment activists had vehemently protested against the proposal. As many as 35 trees are still out on limb. Of these, 20 trees are facing removal, while the rest are being considered for transplantation.

The civic body has held several rounds of meetings with the activists regarding the issue. The trees were found damaged late evening on March 18 by Vaishali Patkar, a member of the Aundh Vikas Mandal who has been fighting for the area’s green cover.

Describing the situation on Aundh Road, Patkar said, “Some pipeline laying work is being carried out on the road for some days now and I had pointed out to the contractor to be extra careful with the trees. However, I found them in a damaged condition on Saturday evening. In the summer months, the trees look a bit gaunt, but that doesn’t mean they are lifeless. This incident occurred just two days after a meeting of all activists with the municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar to acquaint him with the green cover issues of the city that needed attention.“

According to Patkar, offici According to Patkar, offici als of the garden and road department have been turning a blind eye to the matter and have not taken appropriate action against the damage being caused to these trees, despite various complaints.

Rajendra Raut of the PMC road department assured take up the matter as soon as possible. He told TOI “I will look in to the problem. We can definitely take action against the contractor,“ he said.

Preeti Sinha of the garden department said, “If the contractor is found guilty, we can serve a notice to him. We will also force him to plant saplings to compensate for the harm caused by the road-widening activities.

Source : TOI