A journalist with a leading media company in Delhi and a resident of Ghaziabad has written to Principal Secretary Forest, Government of Uttar Pradesh, Kalpana Awasthi about felling of a tree in vicinity of his home, as well as some other trees, reportedly by a neighbour. The journalist has alleged that the DFO Ghaziabad had granted permission for felling of a tree that is 20 years’ old on the applicant’s reasoning that such felling of the tree was necessary for construction of a portion of house. However, he alleges that more trees are being cut in the garb of one.
The said tree is in the precincts of House No E-78, Radha Kunj, Brij Vihar, Ghaziabad. The journalist pointed out that a junior staff of the Forest Department visited this house and told him that there was no need to cut don the old tree. He also said that the tree has medicinal value.
The letter to the Principal Secretary by the journalist states, “Medicinal and fruit trees are being cut down illegally in Radha Kunj, Brij Vihar, Ghaziabad- Uttar Pradesh on permission from the Forest Department, Ghaziabad to cut down those trees. A team of Forest Department already visited that place (House number E-78) and said that there is no need to cut down these trees.( Here I am not mentioning the name of junior level employee as requested). It is a humble request to you to kindly direct the owner of House number E-78 Radha Kunj not to cut down any tree either medicinal or fruit.”
The letter further said that the the trees are more than 20 year-old and are located at more than 2.5 metre away from the plinth of wall of house. The classifications are Shahtoot, Guava, Palistania and Neem trees.
The journalist in his letter has also cited the existence of high levels of pollution in the area. He alleged that a few days’ ago one of the residents of the colony already cut down the big Neem trees behind his house. He has demanded action from the Forest Department to not cut the tree/s.
The journalist further said that despite trying to contact the area Forest Officer BP Singh no 7839434953, which he got from Principal Secretary, Forest Office Lucknow, and DFO Diksha Bhandari’s no 7839435169. Both these numbers have been found to be switched off.
However, noted environmentalist and NGT activist Sushil Raghav pointed out that the Forest Department can grant permission in certain individual cases where a tree stands in someone’s plot and its felling is necessitated for construction of house or a portion thereof.
DFO Ghaziabad could not be contacted on the given numbers despite several attempts.
–(The story will be updated as soon as comments are received from Forest Department)