BJP demands including cutting, trimming of trees

Sep 27, 2017, 18:42 IST | A Correspondent

Party demands including cutting, trimming of trees under Right to Service Act to make authorities more accountable

Taking note of the death of TV presenter Kanchan Nath, who was crushed under a tree in July, the BJP now wants to include the cutting and trimming of dead and dangerous trees under the Right to Service Act of 2015. If implemented, officials, who fail to act on unsafe trees, will either be penalised R5,000 or have a departmental enquiry initiated against them.

According to the figures available with city-based NGO Vanashakti, until 2015, there were over 2,000 trees that were on the verge of dying.

BJP corporator Aneesh Makwaaney from Juhu-Vile Parle had earlier moved a notice proposing to include the cutting and trimming of trees under the Act to speed up the process and make officials accountable to act within a stipulated time period. The notice was passed in the civic house yesterday.

The proposal will be sent to municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta for final approval. However, officials said that since the power to amend the Act is with the state government, the proposal would also have to be sent to state authorities for consideration.

Speaking to mid-day, Makwaaney said, "Nath’s death forced me to think about this idea. When I spoke to her husband, he told me that several complaints had been filed regarding the said tree, but no action had been taken."

He added, "Currently, there is no time-bound accountability on BMC officials for tree trimming. This service should be included in the Act and officials should be given at least 14 days to take action on the complaint."

The Right to Service Act was introduced on October 2, 2015. Since, its implementation, the state has received over one crore applications.

Provisions of the Right to Service Act

Over 407 services across the state have been included under the Right to Service Act. Some of the important services under the Act are death, birth, caste and domicile certificates, licences, land records, etc. Citizens can apply for the services online through the Maharasthra government's Aaple Sarkar portal. The state has stipulated a time frame for providing these services to the citizens, and if not adhered to, there are penalties prescribed for the officers.

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