The environment activists of city got a shock after the civic authority has finally issued a public notice about felling of 4,930 trees in Ajni for construction of Inter Modal Station (IMS) that has shocked all environment activists and nature-lovers that were raising voice against the destruction of green cover in Ajni area.
The Garden Department of NMC recently issued a notice in a newspaper, inviting objections from the citizens about the tree felling within seven days. Enraged by the proposed large-scale loss of green cover in and around Ajni, the environment activists raised objection against the tree-felling to the Government of Maharashtra by register their online grievance on Sunday. According to the notice, 4,522 trees to be axed from Ajni Railway Office, Railway Men’s High School, Kendriya Vidyalaya Ajni premises, Ajni Railway Colony, Ajni Post Office, Ashok Vatika and a Private School building. Similarly, 408 trees to be felled from the Plot No 4 for construction of new DCP Office, Post Office and a school in the Ajni area. The notice also said that the objections should be addressed to G a r d e n Superintendent or Tree Inspector of NMC. A joint team of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and NMC conducted the tree counting of Ajni area which is going to be fell for IMS project.
The environment activists objected the notice without conducting any public hearing. Tree inspector Anant Nagmote said that the joint tree survey team found that 4,930 trees of IMS project. After the survey, NHAI raised the demand of cutting of these trees to the Garden Department and now we served the notice for any objection from citizens. If any person is having any objection then he/she can contact us and report their query in written. Nagmote further informed that after getting objection from the citizens the Tree Authority would decide the fate of the trees and also would check the technical aspects claimed by NHAI for the project. Kaustav Chatterjee, Founder of GreenVigil Foundation said, “In order to evaluate the impact on environment, it is important to know whether 4,930 trees need to be cut only for phase one or for the entire project. Carbon Absorption and oxygen transfer by the trees need to be compared with reduction in carbon emission by IMS in order to evaluate environmental viability of the project.”
Abhijit Jichkar, Project Director, NHAI said, “We have submitted a request to NMC for compensatory plantation of 14,000 saplings at Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV ) premises. We have also identified a spot in Shankarpur near Beltarodi for transplantation of 1,750 old trees.” NHAI is waiting for the approval from NMC for compensatory plantation and transplantation of 90-100 diameter trees from Ajni. “Along with compensatory plantation NHAI must also follow the 1:5 ratio (against 1 tree, 5 to be planted) for those trees which are going to be shifted in Shankarpur,” said Chatterjee.