Pune: Proposal to Cut Trees for New College of Agriculture Administrative Building Faces Opposition

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Pune, 27th October 2023: In the pursuit of constructing a new administrative building for the College of Agriculture, Pune, an undertaking by the state’s Public Works Department has raised concerns as it entails the removal of several old trees on the college premises. A proposal requesting permission to cut down 225 trees has been submitted to the Parks Department of the Pune Municipal Corporation, while environmentalists have voiced their opposition to the tree felling.

The Parks Department has taken a cautious approach and announced its intention to invite objection notices regarding the tree removal. The department will subsequently compile a report to submit to the state government, which will make the final decision regarding permission for tree felling.

The proposed new administrative building is slated to house the office of the Commissioner of Agriculture and will be executed by the state’s Public Works Department. As part of the construction plan, the removal of some old trees is deemed necessary. The proposal stipulates that 99 trees will be replanted after being cut, and an additional 4,152 trees will be planted to compensate for the loss.

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Ashok Ghorpade, Head of the Parks Department, explained, “The State Government’s Public Works Department is planning to construct an Agricultural Administrator Building in the Agricultural College premises. Permission has been sought from the Government to cut down about 225 trees in the Agricultural College premises. The proposal has not yet been approved. A hearing for objections has been called, and once the hearing report is compiled, the state government will make the final decision.”

It’s important to note that this proposal comes in the wake of a previous tree-cutting controversy involving the widening of Ganeshkhind road by the Municipal Corporation. The decision was met with opposition and even led to a petition filed in Bombay High Court. The court had rebuked the municipal commissioner for granting permission to cut 105 trees without addressing objection notices. In light of this history, the Municipal Corporation is now taking a more cautious stance on tree-cutting proposals.