Pune: FIR Filed Against Prominent Builder Kumar Gera For Illegal Tree Felling In Pimpri Chinchwad

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Pimpri Chinchwad, 1st June 2024: An FIR has been registered against Kumar Gera, Chairman of Gera Developments Private Limited, along with two others, for allegedly cutting down trees without the necessary permissions, resulting in a loss of Rs. 3 lakh to the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC).

The case was registered at Bhosari police station, Pimpri Chinchwad police, following a complaint from the PCMC garden department. The accused have been charged under Sections 3(1) and 4 of the Maharashtra Tree Felling Act and Section 21 of the Maharashtra Urban Areas Preservation of Trees Act.

The complaint, lodged by Suresh Ghode, a 46-year-old garden assistant, details the events leading to the FIR. According to Ghode, he received a phone call from Sanjay Dayanand Ausarmal, a resident of Kalewadi, Pimpri, on May 18, 2024, reporting unauthorized tree felling at the Municipal Jogging Track, Nashik Phata, between the MSCB Office and the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT).

Upon visiting the site, Ghode found Ausarmal and another tree enthusiast, Sagar Anil Kasbe, present. They confirmed the phone call and reported that a total of ten trees had been uprooted, their branches broken, and their trunks damaged.

Ausarmal further contacted Vijay Kalyankar, who stated that the work was being carried out by Gera Developments Private Limited and identified the owner as Kumar Gera, and others as Vijay Kalyankar, and Balaji Khandekar. When asked about the necessary permissions for tree felling, Kalyankar admitted that no authorization had been obtained.

The investigation revealed that the following trees were affected:

– Peltophorum: 1 uprooted
– Subabhul: 2 uprooted
– Anstrolian Acacia: 1, branches cut to approximately 5-10 feet
– Karanj: 2, branches cut
– Stathodea: 1, branches cut
– Cassia: 1, trunk damaged and partially eliminated
– Cassia: 2, dead and removed

The trees were allegedly felled to lay an electric supply cable. The total damage is estimated to be Rs. 3 lakh.

Official Statement from Gera Developments Pvt. Ltd.:
“The company received a notice from garden department of PCMC late yesterday evening dated 1st June 2024. The notice of allegedly tree cutting pertains to trees that were purportedly on some road side where work was being carried out 1.5 km away from our project by M/s New Rushikesh Enterprises.

On investigating with M/s. New Rushikesh Enterprises, we are informed that no trees were cut nor were any branches cut as alleged in the notice. Further, our contract requires the agency to obtain all necessary permissions.

We do not believe there has been any wrongdoing on our part and our names are falsely implicated in the matter. We believe the same will come to light when the investigations are done by the authorities.”