A 70-year-old man has been running from pillar to post for the last two years requesting the UT Administration to axe a few trees near his house,which have outlived their life and are a threat to his house.
Despite a report given by the Horticulture department concluding that the trees are indeed a threat and should be axed,the Administration failed to take action.
The complainant,D S Ahluwalia,a resident of Sector 10,then moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the Administration.
Taking note of the petition,the court has issued notices to the UT Administration through its advisor; superintending engineer,Construction Circle,and executive engineer,Horticulture Division. The concerned parties have been directed to file their respective replies against the petition filed by Ahluwalia,who is a practicing lawyer in the High Court.
Interestingly,this is the first time when a case seeking High Court directions for the Administration to cut down trees has come up. The petitioner has sought directions to cut eight eucalyptus and one mulberry tree,located in the grounds of Government Model Senior Secondary School,Sector 10-A,Chandigarh,adjoining the house of the petitioner.
The petitioner has averred that the trees are causing a threat not only to his house but also to the lives of the inhabitants besides the schoolchildren.
Whenever strong wind blows,the petitioner apprehends that the trees might fall. Some of the trees which are 30 to 40 years old are leaning towards the house. The girths of the trees show that they are very old, reads the petition. The girth of the trees varies from 0.37 metres to 1.52 meters.
Ahluwalia has submitted in his appeal that he had written to the UT Advisor on February 26,2007,requesting him to approve the cutting of the said trees,as they are posing threat to the building as well as to the lives of people. It was also said that such trees are usually cut after ten years after which they start fading.
The principal of the school took up the matter with the Horticulture department a number of times,but no action was taken on his requests too, the petitioner has submitted.
In response to the communication sent by Ahluwalia,the executive engineer,Horticulture Division,wrote to the superintending engineer,Construction Circle,Chandigarh on March 14,2007 that they had deputed one Darbara Singh,a sectional officer to inspect the site,who had reported that the trees are 20 to 25 years old,have completed their life cycle and required to be cut.
Accordingly,as per the report of the sectional officer,who had inspected the trees,the executive engineer recommended the case to the higher authorities for approval. No action was,however,taken till September 15,2008 after which a case was filed.