May 2009

Pune Tree Watch, Monthly Report, May 2009
1.Alerts, Action and Campaigns

i) Tree Felling In Satara

PTW was helping local citizens to contact them to take prompt action against illegal tree felling , excessive tree cutting in Satara as the Tree Act applied to Satara also. In case of tree cut on “rural” land also permission has to be taken from the Forest Dept for selective species of trees.

There were many newspaper reports and residents too were opposing the trees being cut down but not aware of rules for cutting trees in fields, river banks and agricultural lands

2)Official Processes

i)Meeting with UDD for proposed changes in the Maharashtra Tree Act

There were two meetings held with the Urban Development Department (UDD) for changes in the Maharashtra Tree Act in the last couple of months.

The first meeting being very ad-hoc and PMC Commissioner Mr. Praveen Pardeshi touched based on this issue with the section of the UDD.

The second meeting was on the 29 May , 2009 after consistent follow up from PTW which was attended mostly by the PMC (Mr. Mane and Mr. Jagzap), Tasneem as member of the Tree Authority and some employees from the town planning department at the UDD.

This highlights of the meeting are

a) The Maharashtra Tree Act is an umbrella act and one cannot get too much into detail. The detailed outline would be put into the Rules section. The Rules have also been drafted .

b) The suggestions from the citizens of Pune have been submitted to the UDD (Deputy Secretary)

c)The amendments would be ultimately passed by politicians but PTW has done its best to suggest changes in vital areas/sections pertaining to the Tree Authority.

3. Plantations

i) Increasing Tree Cover, Aundh

PTW had received enquiries with respect to procedures , nature of trees to planted on barren plots of land formerly owned by Defense Accounts Department . The idea of plantation is to benefit from tree cover of around 30 or so trees in three separate places which was then abandoned and used as a toilet by the villagers

ii)Tree guards to protect saplings, Kothrud

PTW helped a citizen to protect saplings planted last year which were uprooted by children in a housing society compound. PTW got in touch with the zealous tree lover and gave him the required inputs so as to protect the trees from the children who play in the vicinity.

iii) Plantation Meeting held on c
A plantation meeting was organized by the group at the Pune Municipal Corporation. The Garden Department was also invited. Members Sheila Cristian, Anupam Saraph, Vidyadhar Kondheri, and Nazmeen Satghare came for the meeting, to initiate the process of plantation for this year.

A synopsis of the meeting is as follow

a) The responsibility would be with the person/org initiating the plantation activity.

b) PTW and Garden Dept. would help with the requisite support in terms of trees, pits and guards.

c) Regular updates would be provided so that PTW would know how to manage and moderate action accordingly.

d) People who could not attend can now directly contact the Garden Dept for help (Tree Officer, Mr. Jagzap – 9689931490 or Ghorpade – 9869931340)

e) The Garden Dept. would be putting an ad in the newspapers inviting requests from citizens who would like to undertake plantation this week.

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