The forest department slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on the residents’ welfare association (RWA) of Kendriya Vihar in Sector 56, Gurgaon, for illegal pruning of trees on Friday.
A group of residents, who are unhappy with the association’s illegal pruning, had filed a complaint. To verify it, a team of forest officials inspected the colony.
“An initial damage report has been filed by our beat officer, assessing the offence. The beat officer will submit the final report by Monday. However, the fine of Rs 10,000 is justified as the damage has already been done to hundreds of trees,” said Karamvir Malik, forest range officer, Gurgaon.
As per the complaint, many trees such as Ashoka, Peepal, Neem, among others, have been pruned badly. Some have even disappeared over the past two years.
The RWA committed a major offence, since it did not seek permission from the forest department before pruning, explained the forest official.
“The RWA will have to deposit the amount in seven days. Failing which, the matter will land up in a special court at Faridabad and will be put up for a trial under the Indian Forest Act,” said Malik.
According to the complaint sent by a resident to district forest office, the residents on Thursday had spotted a team of workers engaged in the pruning of trees, chopping many trees badly. “We appeal to forest department to initiate strict action against individuals who are responsible and stop further pruning at the earliest,” read the complaint.
Justifying their decision, the members of RWA said that pruning was needed to reduce short circuits of electricity wires. A week ago, the RWA members had held a meeting with the officials of Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) and the area councillor. A survey of the colony was also done.
Speaking to City Spidey, HC Goyal, RWA president, Kendriya Vihar, said, “We accept that we did not write to the forest department seeking permission for pruning but we have not killed or damaged any tree at all.”