NAVI MUMBAI: Just days after several large trees were illegally cut near the busy Kalamboli Circle (road connecting to New Panvel) and the Panvel City Municipal Corporation had lodged an FIR against unknown persons, a new advertisement hoarding has came up at this site.
Alert citizens and activists have pointed that they had already suspected that the trees were hacked in order to make way for some hoarding, and have therefore demanded a thorough police inquiry on this serious green violation.
The PCMC deputy municipal commissioner, Sachin Pawar, said: “We had already lodged an FIR after the trees were cut near Kalamboli circle. Now, since some new hoarding advertisement can be seen at the spot, I will ask my officials to further check and inspect it.”
PCMC official in-charge of trees, Vitthal Dake, commented: “At the time of lodging the FIR at Khandeshwar police station, we had clearly stated that it is suspected that the trees were cut by someone who does hoarding business. However, the police did not take down this statement, and further added that they will further inquire into it on their own.”
The senior police inspector of Khandeshwar police station, Devidas Sonavane, said: “So far, there is no update on the tree cutting case after the FIR was filed.” Green activist B N Kumar of NatConnect Foundation, said: “I have already tweeted to state environment minister, Aaditya Thackeray, about the Kalamboli tree hackings, since a similar case had occurred at Girgaum in south Mumbai where a giant banyan tree was cut (to make a hoarding more visible). In that case, the Mumbai police had lodged FIR and arrested a person responsible for the hoarding that was close to the banyan tree. I hope that Navi Mumbai police also takes tough action on whosoever has hacked the Kalamboli trees.”
RTI activist Anarjit Chauhan commented: “The Kalamboli circle is a very busy junction from where thousands of vehicles pass by every day. Hence, some billboard advertisers must have made the sinister plan to kill all the roadside trees here, so that the hoardings here gets a clear view. This is criminal, and hence police must properly investigate this matter.”
When TOI visited the spot at Kalamboli circle, it was disturbing to see parts of the hacked tree trunks and branches still lying by the roadside, while a shiny new advertisement of a real estate company was displayed on the new hoarding.