Thane officials under scanner for illegal tree cutting

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 24 Maret 2013 | 22.23

THANE: A top official of the Thane tree authority is under scrutiny for his role in the illegal chopping down of more than 70 huge trees by a prominent builder who is developing a green pocket near Brahmand complex along the Ghodbunder road.

Sanjay Gavande, who is heads the tree authority of the Thane municipal corporation, is accused of being present at the Shelke Compund site when the developer's men were cutting down trees which were obstructing an upcoming residential project.

It is learnt that on April 14-15 Gavande was among those present supervising the tree-cutting at Shelke Compund. An alert citizen Rupesh Kumar Kawle who saw the tree cutting operations promptly got his camera and clicked pictures about the presence of Gavande at the spot. A copy of the pictures were forwarded to municipal commissioner RA Rajeev indicting the role of his official in the illegal activity.

RTI activist Chandrahas Tawde has secured detailed information about the exact number of trees on the plot and also sought information about the action taken against Gavande.

The TMC officials have responded to my queries and said that the Shelke compound plot has close to 1,000 trees and the developer was cutting trees from the rear end of the plot. The information states that more than 60 to 70 trees have been cut down without seeking the necessary permissions from the Tree authority,'' Tawde told TOI.

Municipal commissioner RA Rajeev has taken cognizance of the Tawde's complaint and has ordered Gavande to probe the issue in detail and to register an offence against those involved in illegal tree cutting.

It is learnt that Gavande has clarified to the municipal commissioner that he has no role in the illegal tree-cutting by the developer. His photograph, Gavande is understood to have told Rajeev, was taken when he had gone to the site for inspection following a complaint of illegal tree cutting.

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