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  Metros   Mumbai  01 Sep 2019  Aarey axing: Experts of TA to offer resignation on September 3

Aarey axing: Experts of TA to offer resignation on September 3

THE ASIAN AGE. | DEVASHRI BHUJBAL
Published : Sep 1, 2019, 3:01 am IST
Updated : Sep 1, 2019, 3:01 am IST

However, two of them have decided to step down from the panel after they received backlash for voting in favour of the proposal.

Local citizens protest against the cutting of trees in Aarey forest to pave way for metro car shed on Saturday. (Photo: ASIAN AGE)
 Local citizens protest against the cutting of trees in Aarey forest to pave way for metro car shed on Saturday. (Photo: ASIAN AGE)

Mumbai: The two horticulturists of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Tree Authority (TA) have decided to tender their resignation as independent expert members on the panel.

The three tree experts — Dr Chandrakant Salunkhe, Dr Shashirekha Sureshkumar and Subhash Patane — were present in the Tree Authority meeting held on Thursday, where the proposal to remove 2,646 trees in Aarey was sanctioned with support of experts.

However, two of them have decided to step down from the panel after they received backlash for voting in favour of the proposal.  

“We will be sending an official email to municipal commissioner explaining our version. We had submitted a report based on our visit to Aarey Metro 2 site but it was not possible to inspect 2,000 trees in a short span. We had clearly written that there were discrepancies in the data; names of trees were wrongly mentioned and trees more than 50-metre height should be saved. But our report was never discussed in the meeting,” Dr Salunkhe said.

He further added, “Amidst the chaos in the meeting, we failed to understand that we raised hands for clearing the proposal. The Shiv Sena members also targeted, abused, threatened and made allegations against us. We are drafting an official mail  regarding resignation and will send it to the municipal commissioner on Tuesday,” Dr Salunkhe added. However, the Shiv Sena refuted the claims made by the experts regarding threats, and said that they are now trying to save their skin.

Standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav said, “I received a message from Dr Shashirekha saying she is resigning. But backing-out from the Tree Authority is not the way out. I have told her to a written application mentioning that they did not vote for sanctioning the proposal.”

There has been a lot of uproar from environment activists and citizens of Mumbai after the civic TA sanctioned to remove 2,464 trees in Aarey. Total eight members on the panel had approved the proposal, including the three expert members, four from the BJP and one from NCP.

Tags: tree authority, aarey colony