Environmentalists oppose move to cut trees

Environmentalists oppose move to cut trees

NASHIK: Tree lovers and environmentalists strongly opposed the move to cut hundreds of trees to widen the road from Trimurti Chowk to Mauli Lawns in New Nashik. There are many beautiful trees, including Wad, Pimpal and Audumbar on the stretch.

The existing Wad and Pimpal trees are also being cut down for road widening. Some of these trees are hundreds of years old. Jagbir Singh of Manav Utthan Manch said that he will knock on the court’s doors to seek a stay on the cutting of trees and to save it. Citizens of the area including Manish Baviskar, Ramesh Iyer, Suraj Agarwal Nikumbh were present at the occasion.

Interestingly, anyone who cuts trees illegally without seeking permission from the Tree Authority Committee of Nashik Municipal Corporation in its limits will be fined up to Rs. one lakh. If the amount of a fine is not paid within the stipulated time, it will be included in the house tax of the concerned. Apart from this, a case will also be filed against the person who cuts down the tree illegally.

The proposal in this regard was approved in the meeting of the Tree Authority Committee of Nashik Municipal Corporation. The state government had issued an order amending the Maharashtra (Urban Areas) Protection and Preservation of Trees Act, 1975, to increase the fine for illegal felling of a tree from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 1 lakh.

The amendment also includes the classification of trees 50-years old or older as “heritage”. Other notable changes to the act are an increase in the number of trees to be planted in place of a tree that has been cut down and to plant native trees under expert guidance. The amendment has proposed making it mandatory to plant trees equivalent to the age of the one cut down for development work. All trees should be geo-tagged, and the amendment has also proposed a census of trees every five years.

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