Badlapur man hacks 860 trees for daughter's wedding!
Belonging to a poor Adivasi community, the accused needed money and space for his daughter's wedding and hence sold the wood he cut
A man, belonging to Badlapur's Adivasi community, has allegedly cut down 860 trees that stood on a land near his house to make space for his daughter's wedding ceremony. While forest officials are now conducting a panchnama of the area, green activists have alleged that the forest department often turns a blind eye to such felling of trees.
The alleged activity took place on Mhasa road, Badlapur, without obtaining any permissions from the forest officials, who later noticed the barren land by when almost all the trees were hacked. This was done in a matter of a couple of days using a JCB, locals said.
Prakash Jagdale, a local villager, however, said that the land where the trees stood belonged to the man who cut them and forest officials have very little hold in the area. "Some people also cut trees to sell the wood but no action has been take by forest officials against them. The officials do not conduct patrolling in the area to curb such activities. The land has now begun looking barren," he said.
Identified as Dasharath Kurhade, the man wanted to make space for the mandap and stage arrangements for his daughter's wedding two days later and thus cut down all the trees. Range Forest Officer Ramesh Rasal is now inspecting the land with his team of officials.
Sold wood for money
Deputy conservator of forest, state forest department, Jitendra Ramgaokar said, "Our officials immediately rushed to the to stop the man from cutting so many trees. But he had already cut most of them by then. Some of these trees were quite young. As the land belonged to Kurhade, we are taking action against him under Maharashtra Felling of Trees (Regulation) Act 1964."
Rasal said that an initial inquiry has found that the Kurhade family was planning on conducting two marriages in one mandap and needed money for them. "He thus decided to cut the trees and sell the wood - 10 percent of which was teak wood which has a high market value," Rasal told mid-day.
"He is a poor person residing in a remote place and does not own a mobile phone. We have therefore sent our employee to give him the summons and conduct further inquiry personally. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Monday when we have called him with all details of the wood he has sold," Rasal added. Kurhade could not be reached for comment.
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