Seeking to put an end to the controversy over appointment of members to the Tree Authority committee without even a basic qualification in environment, the Pune Municipal Corporation has proposed to appoint seven corporators, preferrably science graduates, on the committee within a month.
The committee is crucial as it takes decisions on proposals to cut trees in the civic jurisdiction. Earlier, there has been a lot of hue and cry from civic activists over political parties getting people on board with no knowledge of environment. A few years ago, activists had approached the Bombay High Court as well as the National Green Tribunal (NGT) over appointment of members on the committee. The HC had suspended the committee but later allowed its constitution after the civic administration assured to restrict the strength of members and set educational criteria for appointment of members.
The committee during the NCP-Congress regime had 13 corporators—who were chosen without taking into consideration their educational background— along with 13 environmental experts. In the new committee, there would be seven corporators— science graduates— and not more than seven experts. It also submitted the committee would be constituted within a month of the first meeting of the general body. Its tenure would be from 2017-2022.