On a beautifully sunlit Sunday afternoon, when regular walkers came to Sanjay Gandhi National Park to revel in its plethora of greenery, they were taken aback by the unsettling sight of barbarically trimmed Ashoka trees. But what was more shocking was that the trees were right outside the office of SGNP Director and Chief Conservator of Forest Vikas Gupta.
The Ashoka trees outside the SGNP director’s office that have been chopped
These trees that had beautified the director’s office for the last decade, were trimmed so ruthlessly that they had no leaf or branch left on them, said Pawan Sharma from NGO RAWW (Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare). “Just because trees cannot speak does not mean that their body should be chopped in an unscientific manner. We thought the corporations were the ones usually doing such things, but this kind of activity inside SGNP is shocking.
Ashoka trees are of no threat,” said Sharma.
“Our government bodies at times forget that they are just the caretakers and not the owners of the state and national property. We can’t expect conservation to happen if we lack logic and common sense,” he added.
Out of 10-15 trees in the area, around eight now just have their barks left. “I was shocked and angry to see that the Ashoka trees had been chopped. What is more shocking is that this is happening in front of the SGNP director’s office and this gives a wrong signal. I am sure that the authorities would come up with bizarre reasons about doing this,” said a regular walker at the national park.