Solan, May 2
Taking strict note of illegal axing of five green trees at Jawahar Park in Solan city by drawing power from the nearby street light, Mayor Solan Municipal Corporation (MC) today wrote to the police and forest departments to take strict action against culprits.
These trees were axed in broad daylight yesterday afternoon and the field staff of the MC remained a mute spectator. Though show cause notice has been served on the field staff to explain the laxity the case has brought to fore utter disregard to the norms where a holiday was chosen to carry out the illegal activity.
While as per the MC norms the civic body is supposed to act against the violators, the Mayor Punam Grover has written to the police and forest department to take appropriate action against the offenders. The Mayor termed it not only an act of environmental degradation but also a criminal offence as five big green trees have been axed from the public property.
While cases of axing trees for genuine reasons were made to wait, such illegal acts were committed in broad daylight by the miscreants. It was surprising as to why trees were axed from a public park which is supposed to be a green area.
Solan MC does not have a Tree Officer to grant approval to applications of axing trees ever since it was upgraded to a corporation in 2020. “As many as 45 cases of axing trees which were hanging precariously at various places were awaiting approval. The Tree Officer is supposed to inspect such sites and then grant permission to the applicants to axe trees,” informed MC Commissioner Rajiv Kumar.
He said the issue was being regularly pursued with the state government as well as the forest officials. Absence of such officers in newly upgraded MCs like Solan, Mandi and Palampur was affecting early disposal of such applicants.
As per the provision of section 343 of HP Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, the state government is supposed to appoint one or more officers not below the rank of Assistant Conservator of Forest as Tree Officer in the MC area.
Though such a proposal is pending before the state government since September 2021, little has been done to address this issue on priority.
Conservator Forests Solan E Vikram informed that as per the MC norms the MC officials are supposed to act against such offenders in the limits of the MC area.
Criminal offence, says mayor
- As per the MC norms the civic body is supposed to act against the violators, but Mayor Punam Grover has written to the police and Forest Department to take appropriate action against the offenders.
- The Mayor said it was not only an act of environmental degradation but also a criminal offence.
- The Solan MC does not have a Tree Officer to grant approval to applications of axing trees ever since it was upgraded to a corporation in 2020.