August 2008

Pune Tree Watch, Monthly Report, August 2008

1. Alerts, Action and Campaigns

Hi

My name is Nirmala Lalvani and I live in Salunke Vihar.

Three days ago the Garden dept went on a rampage chopping branches of an avenue of Peltaforum on the road outside Oxford Village Wanaore.

An unfortunate incident had occurred a few days prior.A young boy got injured when one of the trees fell..the boy later died in hospital…which was really sad!!

The next day the Garden dept swung into action. They hacked the entire canopy..that is all the branches leaning towards the road.Some branches were as thick as young tree trunks.

Overnight approx 3 ft tall brick tree guards were built around each tree. ..that in itself would have ensured another tree would not fall onto the road and the massacre could have been averted…. But no one thought about it.

In my experience hacking thick branches often leads to shock and death of a tree.

Attached are some pictures I took on the day of the mayhem.

In the word doc. I have encircled the areas where the brances were cut…this doc. may take a while to open.

Could you kindly take this up with the Garden dept?!!

Thank You

A Tree lover

Nirmala Lalvani

Can you send me the pics again as I could not see them. I am marking this to some garden dept officials as well as the Pune Tree Watch yahoogroups. Hopefully someone could come of assistance to you as I am away till the 16th.

One key strategy for us is that we request that citizens also contact the Garden depts directly to improve participation at all levels

I am giving you Mr Ghorpade’s number.. please to contact him 96899 31340

This is really unfortunate and saddening to hear of the boy’s death. This is precisely why the rampage could have happened. It is a huge responsibility for the govt when incidents like this take place. I would request through this mail to the Garden dept that they investigate into why this happened and the untimely pruning caused this. There is this High Court order in place and I am keen to see the ramifications as cause of this, if any!

PTW also did a follow up with the Garden Department, who confirmed the incident and the felling and said that this was justified.

————————————————————————

Hi Tasneem,

This Saturday I was cycling back from Lavasa to Pune through Mutha, Bahuli, Kudje, Warje route. Around Bahuli (If you keep driving from Warje beyond Peacock Bay and Splendour Country, you will reach Bahuli and then Mutha village), I saw two full size trucks parked by the side of the road on which tree trunks were being loaded. One truck was already full of logs and the other trucks was still being loaded.

I am not sure whether this was result of illegal tree felling or if there is a legal, commercial logging site nearby. I did not enquire with the labourers for two reasons. Primarily because I was quite tired after close to 100 Km of cycling and wanted to reach home as soon as possible. Second, I cannot speak Marathi and it would have been difficult to communicate anyway.

A friend told me that he had also seen a truck full of timber in that area around 6 months back and I wanted to check with you (or concerned authority) whether you were aware of this.

Regards,

Madhukar Bhatia

Cell: +91-98225-98638

This is Sharat. It’s been a few days since i was supposed to keep you posted about the tree issue in my society.

Sorry, i am late. My computer was down and it has taken all these days to fix it.

First of all, thank you for having sent Mr.Dholas from the garden department P.M.C. so promptly. He came and surveyed. He saw that one of the young trees (3to 4 years old) had been uprooted and planted back at the same spot with support. However, he was not sure about those two trees (again 4 to 5 years old) i had mentioned which have disappeared. Besides loose soil, there aren’t any tell-tale signs he claimed. I mentioned that the gardener of our society was proof enough. But, he needed photographs of the trees when they were there. Unfortunately, i don’t have those. I have photographs of the uprooted tree. Which was put back only after i reported to the police. Or else even that tree would have disappeared and the area levelled up neatly.

The episode of reporting to the police has cooled them down. Now they have assured me verbally that they won’t harm the trees.

Anyway, let me give you a gist of the whole thing.

Ours is a society blessed with lot of flora and fauna naturally. This includes big and small trees, shrubs and bushes and a lawn too.

Some members of the Managing Committee, without the permission of the P.M.C. and without informing society, decided to do away with some trees which they thought were not important just to accomodate another lawn. I requested them verbally several times against it. But, they continued. Finally, i gave it in writing not to touch these trees. Much after i had already reported to the police.

The inspector at the Bund Garden police station had even requested them to present themselves at the station with the permission to cut trees. But, since they didn’t have any, they did not come to the station.

I can understand if hazardous branches have to be trimmed. But this way of chopping and uprooting trees is totally unjustified. Therefore, i decided to take action.

Some of these members are elderly and have done their bit for the society in other ways. But, i don’t think i have done anything wrong in warning them about the punitive consequences for their actions if they continue.

Hope i could still bank on you if the need arises.

Many thanks.

Yesterday I was passing by the Paud road near Pooja park lane, and I saw two huge Pipal trees pruned terribly. Not even a single branch was left standing. They are just trunks now!

And today when I passed by that road again, they are cutting more trees right in front of ICICI bank on Paud road. I dont know if it is cutting or pruning this time! but if they prune it this way, it is equivalent to cutting. I saw this activity today at 11 am.

Since I was in the midst of traffic, couldnt stop by to ask them questions. Please let me

know whom to inform about this as they will chop all branches within no time!

Since I rarely pass by this road I don’t now if they will continue this.

Thanks and best regards,

Kavita Raut

Warje, Pune.

I agree with you. Approaching a group of 5 -10 workers who are cutting trees is a risky proposition not only for ladies but for any person, unless there is a good and well-informed group along.

It will be immensely helpful if we are aware of the nearest PTW member who can come on the site ASAP with few volunteers. This will help us ask right questions and stop the work immediately.

Please do publish the area-wise numbers on a website, so we can contact respective people.

Regards.

-Kavita.

2. Official Processes You are quite right there about the risk. We had the initial area-wise representation going very well for ourselves at one point in time. There was a list (also on the website) and active participation as well. It died down for reasons we all know…most of the time being lack of time itself!

We can revive this and I have wanted to send this call for revisiting area-wise representation for better support to each other long back. I will through this mail and a reminder again request the members from the larger membership to please let me know, if they would like to volunteer occassionally on an area basis

On the side.. I sense a complete collapse in the system (I hope I am wrong). I get a call from a very active tree lover, who says that no one is responding to him anymore. I have already expressed my doubts on where the High Court order is doing, and plus the fact that we have a new reign of leadership (Mane and the commissioner) taking on just recently. Lots of new things in the sway and boy are we swaying.. possibly not in the best way!

Regards

Tasneem

Hi Tasneem ,

There is no bus service from Mohammedwadi to Phul Gate via NIBM Road/ Lulla Nagar . The Mohalla committe has been able to convince PMPML to start this bus service . Howeve just ahead of Palace Orchard society towards Corinthinian Club , there is tree which is reclining on the road & whose branches need to be cut as it touches the roof of the PMPL bus when it passes by that spot . How can this matter be solved and how can you help the mohalla committee in the matter . Starting this bus service will be a boon to thousands of residents of the area especially the poor and the school children .

Thanks for your help .

Rgds/ Capt Sethi .

I think that is great .. you can make an application for felling at the Garden Dept. You can contact Mr Ghorpade for the correct information….9689931340

Tasneem

Hi,

Thanks for your response and advice .Mr Ghorpade had been contacted and he has arranged for the branches of the trees to be cut . The job has been completed .

Rgds/ Capt Sethi

Hello All,

I stay in Kumar Parisar, a society located near Gandhi Bhavan in Kothrud. A new DP road has been constructed their some time back and the PMC has done a great job with the same.

The road widths, street furniture and also tree plantation are planned to superior standards and executed with excellence. However there are still certain tree curbs which are empty and where plantation can take place.

I wanted to know if we could plan something out in order to have a plantation drive on that road for the empty pockets. I would love to take this activity forward.

Regards,

Ar. Namrata Dhamankar

Whitespace design consultancy

HI Namrata,

Are you talking about the DP road behind Gandhi Bhavan? Some landmarks I remember on this road are backyard of Mahesh Vidyalaya ? If its the same road you are talking abt then I think it makes great sense to fill in the patches. (especially also because there was a decades old garden of Guava trees and fully grown Tamrind trees where the road is constructed now)

Well if it is the same road, we can plan some plantation activity in coordination with Garden Dept. I live just around the corner. I can also ask a couple of friends to join may be.

Bests

Rohan

Dear All,

I live on Paud Raod and was a witness to one incidence of Tree Cutting. Eucalyptus tree near Jai Bhavani Nagar. It was a huge tree as well. I stopped and asked the officials about the permissions etc. (and well In my opinion it isn’t scary to approach the officials/cutting workers at all) They seemed to have a permission from 2006 for cutting trees on this road which is under concretization and widening for last three years. When asked why are they cutting the tree now? they said local politicians and the contractors tried to get away with poorly constructed road in 2008 just before Youth Commonwealth. But voice was raised in PMC against the poor quality of the road, hence they started the work once more and now work is being done ‘properly’

While I do not particularly know about the Pipal trees, this is about some other incidence on the same road. May be these two incidences have some common link

Rohan

Dear All,

I upload photo of tree cutting,Nashik on ‘Photo’ section of this group.

with regards

vinod patil

Thanks Vinod..

here is the link http://groups.yahoo.com/group/punetreewatch/photos/album/0/list

can you give us a brief on this? was this legal? illegal? for what reasons was this cut? did you manage to complain? etc.

Dear Madam,

I complaint about it to municipal authorities. They immedietly stop the tree felling work.

One unathorised person cut branches of wel grown trees at Vise Mala,College Road,Nashik. It is busy commercial area of Nashik.

That unathorised person cut a big acashia tree in front of my house. I took photo of it ( at the time of tree cutting i was not at home). I do not know the reason of cutting.

with regard,

vinod patil

————-

Joint forest management has been initiated by the forest dept. The land in question here is mostly forest land of course. I am not sure how this is moving and how complete the joint forest management is. I have a bit of literature but this is in marathi and scattered, would be great if someone could volunteer from the group and help consolidate all this information? any takers? I could provide you with all the necessary contacts etc.

I have been on one JFM committee for more than a year now but have only started getting their official invites since the past few months. The process is pretty slow and still I feel not very clear on the role play of what all is supposed to be done. Hopefully if we could get someone to help me keep tabs on what all is happening and update the process documentation, then we could know what all is happening and make informed interventions.

There are three of us from PTW who are in various JFM committees. There is Ketaki and myself in the capacity of the Tree Authority members and Ramesh Vanvari as citizen representative. There are different JFM’s for different areas and Ramesh and myself are for Wanawadi area. As of the moment there has not been much work that has happened there. Ketaki is for the Law College hill area. I dont know if there are others on this group, who are members of the other committees. If so, then please to let the group know.

Let me know if any one of you would like to volunteer for putting the basics of this together.

Thanks

Tasneem

—– Original Message —–

From: Feroza Saran

Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 7:14 AM

Subject: Re: [punetreewatch] Fw: Death of tiger reserve dense forest ‘TADOBA’

Dear Tasneem,

I have been propagating the idea of having “City Forests” to the Government for ages. On should identify all “waste land” in the city, find out for what purpose it has been designated, and in the meantime one can do some “guerilla farming” with volunteers, just before & during the monsoons, with planting of fast growing and self propagating trees like su babul or Banyan, peepul etc. and then let nature take its course.

Tree planting should be made into a National Movement. Let us spread the idea of gifting trees and plants on birthdays and festive occasions, especially to those who have gardens and large balconies or terraces, rather than buying other gifts. This can be done through schools and colleges for a start. We can print this message on stickers, badges, T-Shirts, etc.

“BE LIKE ME – GIFT A TREE!”

feroza.

A request for action was made from a citizen residing in the Pune Cantonment area to stop cutting down Neem Tree. Hello,

Thanks for this Santosh and for your alertness.. the high court order is only applicable to the PMC limits. I have just got this clarified from the petitioners.

Can you please speak to Mr Kangane 9422368829 for the same.? he is in charge of the tree felling processes in the cantonment area.

Also wanted to share with the group a letter that we sent to the CEO in dec 2008 for the cantonment area to have tree felling regulations. There was no response from them and there has been a chaneg in guard now. We will try to bring it up again when the opportunity arises.

Tasneem

Dear All,

After continuous use of RTI and follow up with PMC officials, I got success in filing the case in Pune Municipal Court regarding illegal feeling of tree of our society by the then chairman/secy. The suit filed by Udyan Vibhag, PMC.

On Saturday, 29/08/2009, I enquire about the progrees of the case. The first summons issued in somewherr March 2008 and the next hearing is on 23rd September, 2009. ( It is also understood that even on 23rd Sept. 2009, the hearing for re issue of summos).

I am unable to understand these technicality. Can anybody help me?

Marking this to the tree officer (Mr jagzap) and Asim Sarode (known lawyer) for their responses to help you..

Mr Jagzap can also be contacted on 96899-31490. i suggest you talk with him directly

u may contact Adv Pawar, he is on the panel of PCB. his mobile number is 9922035700

Best Rgds,

Mukesh V. Gupta

Dear Tasneem

One of our frind is residing behind Abhiruchi, Sinhgad road. One industry and one Mangal Karyalaya may be dumping waste in neraby stream/ canal making water polluted and that stream reaches river. How we should proceed further to stop their affluents reaching stream? Can we write to PMC or any other authority? please guide us. If possible please forward your advice to Mr Mahesh Rajwade e-mail- “mahesh rajwade” .

Is any NGO working on such issues.

thanks & regards

Suhas Sapatnekar

__._,_.___

If industry will disposing, write to MPCB (Maharashtra pollution control board) and PMC. Before writing please confirm that the industrys effluent meeting consent parameter.

with regards

RK Gite

Please lodge all complaints to PMC on their website http://www.punecorporation.org and forward a copy of the same to Gautam Idnani on gautam.nsccpune@gmail.com.

Go to the Complaints and Redressal Section, and fill out all the details.

I agree with Mr Gite’s response. I dont have any experience on this but I am marking it Satish Khot of National Society of Clean Cities who could tell us more about this process. As Pune Tree Watch or/and Ecological society we can certainly write a letter. Can u put a draft of this letter… we would need to put photographic evidence as well.. would that be possible?

Tasneem

With the help of some volunteers from ILS college, PTW has started to work on putting a laws and policies dossier for Urban cities in India.

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