Times of India, Sumi Sukanya, Gurgaon
The Haryana forest department has issued a notice to Haryana discom Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitaran Nigam (DHBVN) for illegally chopping 26 full-grown trees and reducing them to mere trunks along the main road in the upscale Sector 15 Part-II in the city on Saturday. For the offence-a violation of Section 33 of Indian Forest Act-violator is liable to be tried in environment court, Faridabad, said forest officials.
Gurgaon forest range officer Devendra Rao visited the site after getting complaints from residents. He said, “The discom workers have left the trees devoid of their crown-green leaves which is a serious offence under Indian Forest Act 1927 as well as the Punjab Land Preservation Act. We have issued a chalan and also sent a notice to the board authorities.”
He further said if the government agency did not reply to the notice in time, the offender could be prosecuted in environment court in Faridabad. “The trees were on government land and DHBVN never applied for requisite permission before lopping the trees,” Rao added.
Vivek Kamboj, who runs NGO Haryali and has been working extensively to promote green cover in the city, said the trees could die for the want of leaves. “And even of some of them manage to survive, it will take years before they come back to their old shape,” he said.
“What the department has done is an ecological crime. Punjab Land Preservation Act 1900 provides that no one can cut or lop a tree even on private land without seeking permission of the forest department. If government officials behave this irresponsibly, what can we expect from people who do it for commercial benefits?” said Kamboj.