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Mumbai: Police still unable to find tree-killers

Updated on: 25 April,2024 07:05 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Apoorva Agashe |

This despite three FIRs and two NCs filed in killing of 60 trees over 10 months along the EEH

Mumbai: Police still unable to find tree-killers

Trees along the Eastern Express Highway at Ramabai Ambedkar nagar have been killed. Pic/Rajesh Gupta

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Mumbai: Police still unable to find tree-killers

The police investigating the killing of 60 fully grown trees along the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) at Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar appear to be in the woods and failed to make significant progress in the last 10 months. Three FIRs have been registered since the last 10 months and the latest on April 16 by civic officials at the Pant Nagar police station regarding the killing of the trees. Based on the drill marks on the tree trunks, the civic officials suspect that trees were deliberately poisoned to benefit the advertisement hoarding agency along the highway. The trees that perished were planted by BMC along the EEH at Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar.  

“After registering an FIR, we scrutinised CCTV footage in the area, but have found nothing suspicious. We are investigating the matter,” said Rajendra Kevle, senior police inspector of Pantnagar police station.
It is suspected that the death of the trees will result in an unhindered view of the hoardings. “The Pantnagar police station has registered three FIRs and two non-cognizable offence cases in this matter. To my knowledge the crime has been happening near the BPCL Petrol Pump, which is just opposite Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar and I suspect the hoardings to be illegal,” BJP leader Kirit Somaiya told mid-day. He said that he has written to the municipal commissioner seeking a thorough investigation in this matter. “The police are not investigating the matter thoroughly. They swung into action only after media reports and have done nothing so far,” he said. 

“The advertising agency had cut down the trees for a better view of the hoardings. The police are yet to take any action in this regard. They are just damaging the environment. The case must be thoroughly investigated,” said Vipul Shah, a member of Garodia Federation

The Pantnagar police had registered the first FIR  on July 13, 2023. “Based on the information from a BMC official we had registered an FIR against Ego Media as it is alleged that they had cut 11 trees along the Eastern Express Highway. The media agency denied their involvement. Enquiries with the local residents and passers-by didn’t yield anything and hence we are still looking for an accused in this matter,” said a police officer on condition of anonymity. 

In the second FIR, the police had apprehended one accused. “On July 25, the FIR by a BMC official accused Devangi Outdoor, an advertising agency, of killing trees by drilling holes into them. We had arrested one person in this matter and he was released after payment of fine as the offence is bailable,” said the officer. 
According to the cops the third FIR was filed on April 16, “We had checked the CCTV footage in the area and found nothing suspicious, but we are still investigating the matter,” said the police officer. 

“We will soon make a database and check if any such instances have happened in other areas across the city,” said a BMC official on condition of anonymity. 

No. trees that have perished

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