Trees axed under the guise of pruning

‘Green murder’ on General Pool Residential Accommodation premises

September 22, 2023 12:41 am | Updated 12:41 am IST - HYDERABAD

Trees cut in scores in the name of pruning at Central government quarters, Gachibowli, Hyderabad, on Thursday.

Trees cut in scores in the name of pruning at Central government quarters, Gachibowli, Hyderabad, on Thursday.

Indiscriminate pruning by the Central government authorities left a large number of trees on GPRA premises at Indira Nagar of Gachibowli headless.

Large number of fully grown trees axed into half and foliage strewn around inside the GPRA premises reminded one of carnage in a battle field. Logs towed away in mini trucks indicated the size of the trees which were chopped.

According to information shared by residents, main trunks of at least 10 large trees had been cut down along with main branches of around 50 to 60 trees, before the GHMC and Forest officials entered the scene to assess the damage.

“This is not pruning, this amounts to axing the trees. They were cut on the pretext of clothes not drying and bird droppings, which are not valid reasons,” fumed P. Sree Ramya, an advocate and resident of the quarters.

Forest officials who visited the premises upon complaint by a few residents concluded that at least eight trees were left only with the main trunk. No permission has been obtained from the department for chopping the trees, they said.

Officials from the Horticulture wing of the CPWD who were responsible for the pruning, said they had written to the GHMC and the Forest Department and got permissions to cut the branches.

“It has been 20 years since these trees were pruned. We have received several complaints from the residents and colony welfare association. Recently, a tree branch fell on a car and damaged it. Had it fallen on a person, it would have been fatal. We cannot risk people’s lives, hence have taken up pruning,” informed an official.

All the trees were of Peltophorum species, the branches of which are brittle, and prone to snap, he said, justifying the action.

GHMC officials, however, denied that any permission was given from the Urban Biodiversity wing for the tree cutting.

Responding to a social media post about the same, the zonal commissioner of Serilingampally informed that the location was inspected by the Deputy Range Officer from the Forest Department, and action was being initiated against the persons responsible for chopping trees under the relevant Forest Act provisions.

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