Several saplings planted near Khadakwasla dam after a de-siltation drive was carried out ahead of monsoon this year were recently found to have been damaged.
The drive was jointly undertaken in May by the National Service Scheme (NSS) unit of University of Pune,Green Thumb Environment Protection Group and other NGOs,with support from the irrigation department,forest department and the corporate world,and was followed by a massive plantation drive.
While a formal complaint has been lodged with the Haveli police station against unidentified persons under Section 427 (mischief causing damage) of the IPC in the matter,police have failed to trace the culprits.
Founder-president of Green Thumb Colonel (Retd) Suresh Patil said anti-social elements had encroached upon the land adjacent to Khadakwasla dam and they were involved in damaging the saplings.
The most part of the periphery of the dam has been used in an unauthorised manner for farming and commercial activities. The elements involved behind this perceived our plantation drive as threat to their illegal occupation and therefore damaged the saplings, he said.
Patil said an agitation would be launched if the damage to saplings continued.
Located around 20 km from Pune,Khadakwasla dam is one of the four dams that supply water to the city. The drive for de-siltation of the dam was executed as part of two mega camps one from May 20-26 and the other between May 27 and June 1. Hundreds of tonnes of silt that came out were used for planting of saplings along the dam besides being distributed among farmers on demand.