Close shave for tree as greens rush to its rescue

Environmentalists, civic official convince chawl owner to spare 40-year-old raintree in Solapur Bazar; both parties agree to just trim branches to prevent damage to retaining wall of building

One man's junk is another man's treasure. A group of tree lovers along with a civic official came together yesterday to save a 40-year-old tree, which was creating problems for some, from being hacked.

Saved the axe: The raintree which is situated in a narrow gap between
the two buildings. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

After an hour-long heated argument yesterday, it was finally decided that the rain tree situated between two buildings would not get the axe, but just a shave here and there.

A group of residents insisted the tree provided them shade during the scorching summer and also fresh air in the evening. Trilok Dalmiya, a resident staying in a nearby building, said the tree was also increasing the aesthetics of the building and should not be chopped.

On the other hand, a chawl owner, Vasant Chaudhari, who stays just a foot away from the tree, complained it was causing damage to the retaining wall of his construction.

He said the branches were touching the electric wires and could be dangerous during rains. With the help of the K V Kamble, garden superintendent, Pune Cantonment Board, and environmentalists V R Jain, Vaibhav Gandhi and Juneja Singh it was decided the tree should not be cut, but just the problematic branches trimmed.

Resolved amicably
Kamble listened to both sides of the story at an informal hearing that took place in the Solapur Bazar area yesterday. "I am happy both Chaudhari and Dalmiya were satisfied with the decision," said Jain. "Punekars should first think about how to save a tree instead of how it was causing problems."

Dwindling numbers
 Over 65,000 trees were cut illegally in the city in the last 10 years. 
* No tree census was conducted in the last decade either by the Pune Municipal Corporation or the Cantonment board which is compulsory every 10 years.

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