Gurugram: GMDA challaned for cutting 850 trees without Forest Dept's nod : The Tribune India

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Gurugram: GMDA challaned for cutting 850 trees without Forest Dept's nod

Gurugram: GMDA challaned for cutting 850 trees without Forest Dept's nod


Tribune News Service

Sumedha Sharma

Gurugram, June 9

The Forest Department has issued a challan to the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) for having chopped more than 850 trees without its permission to construct a road.

122 trees, 742 saplings uprooted

  • In all, 122 fully grown trees and 742 saplings planted along the main road of Sector 102-A and 103 were uprooted
  • This was done to make way for a service lane that is being constructed at a cost of Rs 7.35 crore
  • Villagers alerted forest officials, who visited the spot and issued a challan to a Junior Engineer of the GMDA
  • The forest officials said they were probing the role of the Sub-divisional Officer and the Executive Engineer

It has marked an investigation into the matter to zero in on erring officials. Subsequently, the department will move a complaint in an environmental court.

In all, 864 mesquite trees locally known as "vilayti kikar" — 122 fully grown trees and 742 saplings — planted along the main road of Sector 102-A and 103 were uprooted on Thursday to make way for a service lane that is being constructed at a cost of Rs 7.35 crore.

Probe underway

At present, the JE has been challaned. After probe, the name of other officers and the company constructing the service lane will also be made party to the matter.

Karmaveer Malik, range officer, forest dept

On getting information, villagers alerted forest officials who visited the spot and issued a challan to Junior Engineer (JE) Sumit Chahal of the GMDA. The forest officials said they were probing the role of the Sub-divisional Officer (SDO) and the Executive Engineer (XEN).

Trees are protected under Section 4 of the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA). It is mandatory for any government agency to take permission from the Forest Department before cutting trees in a forest area. The agency concerned has to undertake compensatory afforestation by planting 10 times the chopped trees. It has to inform and identify land for afforestation before chopping the trees.

Earlier, similar challans were issued to the Municipal Corporation and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The NHAI had recently cut 98 trees without permission for the construction of the National Highway-352W, while the MC was challaned for cutting hundreds of "kikar" trees on about two acres situated near the Bandhwari solid waste plant.

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