Kothrud residents at loggerheads with PMC as trees lie uprooted
Eight days after torrential rains lashed the city uprooting hundred trees, the civic body's lackadaisical approach in clearing them off the streets has come to the fore.
As if the devastation wasn’t enough, nothing has been done so far by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to remove them from the side of the road, say residents. Residents from Kothrud area, which witnessed nearly 90 tree falls, say the debris-strewn roads are hindering traffic movement and even hurdling pedestrians.
Corporators from the area -- Prithviraj Sutar and Kishor Shinde -- raised the issue at the Standing Committee’s meeting yesterday. “We don’t understand why they [PMC] are taking so long to clear the fallen trees. We are receiving several complaints from residents daily. At the meeting we complained to the Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak,” said Shinde.
After hearing the grievances, Pathak slammed PMC’s garden department and has now given them an ultimatum to clear the uprooted trees and branches within two days. “Tree falling occurs every year during the rains. But, what I don’t understand is why the garden department wakes up only after the incident. Before the onset of rains, they should trim branches, and cut old trees. It is responsibility of the garden department to identify such trees and ensure branches are trimmed,” said Sutar.
Kumar Parisar resident Gayatri Joshi said, “At some places, the have cleared a major part of the tree trunk, but the leaves and small branches are still lying on the road. Several trees have collapsed at the premises of the societies and residents are now fed up due to the half-hearted approach of the civic body.”
“Fallen trees have not yet been moved out from Mourya Vihar, D P Road near Sahajanand Society. Slum dwellers are now hacking the branches, which is messing up the entire area,” said Anjana Deshpande, resident of the Mahatma Society.
The other side
Ashok Ghorpade, superintendent of the Garden Department, said, “Our teams are working overnight. Except some parts of the Mayur Colony almost all trees have been cleared. By tomorrow morning, our work will be done. We have also appointed a special coordinating officer for such incidents who liaises with the fire brigade. There is proper procedure to be followed for dumping fallen trees, which takes time.”