Pune Municipal Corporation Under Scrutiny: Allegations of Misappropriation in Tree Sale Proceeds Surface

PMC Pune
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Varad Bhatkhande

Pune, 7th April 2024: Pune resident Rupesh Ram Keskar has voiced concerns over the activities of the Tree Authority of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in the past five years. Allegations suggest that despite granting permissions for the felling and replanting of numerous trees, transparency regarding the sale proceeds of timber and wood chips remains elusive. Keskar highlights discrepancies in the process, emphasizing the lack of information provided to the Tree Authority regarding the revenue generated from such sales.


Furthermore, amidst rising temperatures and environmental concerns, Keskar notes a pattern of tree-cutting proposals being approved, particularly by various departments within the PMC. Projects ranging from riverbank beautification to infrastructure development like roads, the Pune Metro, and new bridges often entail the removal of trees without exploring alternative options. Keskar points out a lack of accountability regarding the compensation trees promised to be planted instead of those cut-down.


The absence of information regarding the sale of wood chips, coupled with the purported failure to deposit proceeds into the Pune Municipal Treasury and submit reports to the Tree Authority, raises suspicions of misappropriation. Keskar’s inquiries via the Right to Information Act on January 2, 2024, yielded no records, prompting questions about the whereabouts of the funds and potential misconduct among PMC officials.


In light of these concerns, Keskar urges a thorough investigation into the matter to identify any malfeasance within the PMC and ensure transparency in tree management practices.


Efforts were made by Punekar News to reach Ashok Ghorpade, the head of PMC Tree Authority and Chief Garden Superintendent of PMC, for comment, but he was unavailable for response.