How Shiv Sena is trying all tricks to cut Aarey tree-cutting
Exclusive: BMC corridors witness unprecedented drama and palace intrigue as ruling party seeks to scuttle Metro carshed plan
The dispute between the Shiv Sena, BJP and BMC over the Aarey tree-cutting proposal just got more complicated. After the municipal secretary department delayed the handing over of a revised copy of the minutes of the last Tree Authority (TA) meeting where the proposal was cleared, two additional municipal commissioners and the deputy municipal commissioner on Tuesday visited the municipal secretary, a man of lower rank, to enquire about it.
The officials also asked for a certified copy, which stated the TA had given its nod to clear 2,700 trees from Aarey. Sources said it was unusual for senior officers to visit a lower ranked official to procure files. Incidentally, the municipal secretary department comes under the standing committee chairman, Yashwant Jadhav, who is a Shiv Sena corporator.
Last week, the much-debated proposal to clear trees from Aarey for the Metro III car shed was approved in the TA meeting, despite stiff opposition from the ruling party, Shiv Sena. The copy of the minutes mentioned the declaration of the code of conduct date by the commissioner, who said that he was ready to postpone the proposal if the committee passed it in the next meeting.
Sources said that the commissioner is not allowed to speak about the model code of conduct. The activist and Shiv Sena are now using these points to stall the tree-cutting plan. Pardeshi, meanwhile, has been trying to get hold of the certified copy as well as the minutes from the secretary department. Sources said Pardeshi had called secretary Prakash Jekate to his office several times and asked him to make corrections to the minutes, but the latter kept making excuses. After that, the commissioner gave DMC Chandrashekhar Chore the responsibility to procure the copy.
Chore and Additional Commissioner Abasaheb Jarhad visited the secretary's office on Tuesday, and asked him to make the necessary corrections to the minutes. When Jadhav, the standing committee chairman, learned about it, he rushed to the secretary department, and ordered that no changes be made to the minutes. Additional Municipal Commissioner Vijay Singhal also arrived, and tried to intervene.
Following the development, Pardeshi attended the standing committee meeting on Wednesday and said that the minutes had wrong information, and that corrections had to be made to it immediately, as a copy had to be sent to the court. No decision was taken, as the standing committee adjourned the meeting.
The maximum No. of days there can be between 2 Tree Authority meetings
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Hours after Bombay HC verdict, BMC starts cutting trees at Aarey