Thursday 28 Sep 2023

Dy Collector grants permission within a day to cut banyan tree

Calangute forum demands departmental inquiry

THE GOAN NETWORK | JUNE 07, 2023, 12:28 AM IST

In a move that has raised eyebrows, the Deputy Collector of Mapusa within a day gave permission to cut the fallen banyan tree in Calangute.

What came as surprise is that the complaint of “dangerously leaning tree” was filed on Monday and the Deputy Collector Gurudas Desai gave the order on the same day without waiting for the report of the talathi or the forest department.

The 200-year-old banyan tree got uprooted and fell at the construction site of the complainant on Sunday evening.

On Monday, the builder Akhil Gupta in a written complaint to the deputy collector stated that a banyan tree existing in his neighbouring property belonging to one Shashank Jain has partly fallen in his property and there was serious apprehension that it would further fall which may result in loss of life or limb unless ordered to be cut at the earliest.

The deputy collector who appeared in a tearing hurry in his order directed Jain to cut the fallen tree within 48 hours, failing which the complainant was allowed to cut the tree.

Calling the order as travesty of justice, Calangute Constituency Forum President Premanand Diukar said if a common man applied for cutting of a tree, the office of the deputy collector would make the person to dance and would take days if not months to issue an order but in this case the order came in less than 12 hours.

“It’s sad the deputy collector has passed the order without any investigation and gave a ruling on the same day to cut the tree. May be, he was under pressure from his seniors,” Duikar said.

He further demanded a departmental inquiry against the deputy collector for allowing cutting of the tree within hours.

Forest officials book offence

MAPUSA: Forest officials on Tuesday inspected and conducted a panchanama of the fallen banyan tree and booked an offence under the Forest Act.

The forest officials in their report have said that the tree exited on the boundary of two properties and the tree got uprooted due to excavation of mud very close to the main stump.

The report further said that the excavation was intentionally done to construct a retaining wall in the property.

The forest officials booked an offence under Section 8 of PTA 1984.

The panchanama was done in the presence of panchayat members Sapnesh Vaigankar and Anny Fernandes.

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