Tree cutters running riot in West Nagpur without permission

Nagpur: Tree fellers roam in town, particularly West Nagpur, which is greener than other areas, asking gullible citizens for trimming and cutting jobs. They shaking off rules and administrative questions and persuading owners to take off a few branches and leaves here and there.

People who fall into their pit may end up being severely punished by the civic body that has hired tree cutters who work with full permission.

A group of citizens at New Somwaripeth at Manewada Road have been chopping down an age-old almond tree through such fellers recently. The tree was planted on the road almost 25 years ago and felled without the required permission of the garden department of Nagpur Municipal Corporation.

When Anshu Saxena, an environmentally conscious local, attempted to stop the illegal felling, few residents and laborers started to harass and threaten her. “I tried to get in touch with the police but in vain. This group of residents cut down the tree absolutely because they were disturbed by the leaf litter. How that can be a reason to destroy our green cover, “Saxena said.

According to NMC’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) published in April last year, people can not seek permission to fall trees citing trivial reasons such as “leaf litter disturbed” or “improving the visibility of a hoarding or shop advertising.”

Saxena further told that the tree fellers, who regularly visit their residential area, promote the work. “They provide tree trimming or felling service. The residents now intend to cut off fully grown Neem trees, “Saxena added.

A team of officials from the garden department of NMC had done a spot panchnama upon her complaint. “We sent notices to the citizens who ordered tree felling. Appropriate measures will be taken based on their reaction, “officials said.

About tree fellers who frequent multiple residential areas for the last few months. They provide tree felling services at affordable rates, bringing axe and other materials. This activity leads to a substantial loss in the already dwindling green cover of the area.

NMC garden superintendent Amol Chorpagar said those tree fellers are located prominently in West Nagpur areas. “We have identified these groups and soon will undertake acts such as filing FIR or externalizing them. The problem is going to be raised with the town manager, “he said.

Officials have appealed to the public not to use feller facilities because they are unlawfully cutting trees. “They don’t have the permission from NMC,” Chorpagar said.

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