March 25, 2009 2:09:08 am
A month after 27 trees were illegally cut by the Survey of India (SOI) in its Maharashtra and Goa Geo-spatial Data Centre on Alandi Road,the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is about to serve them a second notice indicating judicial action against them. Activists,however,term it as delay by the PMC in forwarding the case to court,which is the ideal procedure.
Environment activist Omkar Vahikar had filed a complaint with the Yerawada police on February 10 alleging that the SOI cut over 25 fully grown trees on its campus on Alandi Road,Vishrantwadi to make way for a road. About a week later,the PMC conducted a panch nama of the area and issued a show-cause notice to the SOI as to why it had axed huge trees on its campus in contravention of forest rules.
PMC garden superintendent A D Ghorpade said on Monday that the reply from SOI was unsatisfactory. The SOI has stated that the trees were cut for some work being undertaken by the public works department (PWD). Ghorpade said,the PMC will soon send a second letter to the SOI stating that their reply is unsatisfactory and why judicial action should not be initiated against them. Investigations had revealed that 15 khair,seven sindi and 5 babhool trees were lopped off.
However,activists Vinod Jain and Deepak Vahikar said that the PMC should have forwarded the case to the court long ago. The PMC must forward such cases to the court. If found guilty,the court slaps a fine and imprisonment on the defaulter. However,the PMC usually takes penalty from the defaulters and cases are seldom forwarded to court, Vahikar said.
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