With Holi just a month away (March 23), it is time to celebrate. However, Sector 36 in Greater Noida seems to be preparing for it by illicitly cutting trees for the Holi bonfire.
What's more shocking is the forest inspector's attitude towards it. “Everyone knows a festival is round the corner. What's so surprising if trees are being cut for rituals?" was Subhash Yadav's answer to City Spidey, when asked about this. He added that he has looked into the matter and confirmed that only small branches and "twigs" were being cut. However, the photograph taken by City Spidey clearly shows full-grown trees hacked and piled inside the sector premises.
Kailash Bhati, RWA President, said, “These trees are being cut at night. We don't know who's behind this.” However, he strongly condemned the act, saying legal action should be taken against those involved.
Elam Singh Nagar, president of Greater Noida Residents Welfare Association, also voiced his strong disapproval, saying those involved should be penalised.
Forest Inspector Subhash Yadav, when initially contacted, had said he had no knowledge of trees being cut in Sector 36. "This is the first I have heard of such an incident," he had told City Spidey. "Sector 36 is a newly developed area and has almost no trees or plants in it." He had added that he would send a team to investigate the issue.
However, now that the matter has come to his notice, he seems to think it is normal.
Isn't felling of trees without the Forest Department's permission a punishable offence? Or does our forest inspector feel festivals are reason enough for rules to be flouted? And we are not even getting into the environmental implications of the act.
Frankly, we at City Spidey are aghast.