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'Cutting of Thousands of Trees for Bal Thackeray Memorial Will Hurt Green Lung': Activist

On Sunday, former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis' wife Amruta called the ruling Sena a 'hypocrite' amid reports that the proposed structure would require felling of some 1,000 trees.

PTI

Updated:December 9, 2019, 2:39 PM IST
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'Cutting of Thousands of Trees for Bal Thackeray Memorial Will Hurt Green Lung': Activist
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday.

Aurangabad: Cutting of trees for Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray's proposed memorial in Maharashtra's Aurangabad will not only deface the public garden but also harm its precious ecology, a tree committee member said on Monday.

The Priyadarshini Garden in Cidco area, the proposed site for the memorial, is home to various birds and reptiles.

"The park is home to at least 80 types of birds, out of which 52 are Indian and rest are foreign birds. There are 35 types of butterflies, seven types of snakes and 80 types of insects. This place is still a home for animals and a major oxygen hub.

"We will lose this beauty if trees are felled for the memorial," Kishor Pathak, a green activist and a member of the tree committee of the Sena-ruled Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) told PTI.

He said the garden has over 7,500 trees which was first handed over to a private educational institute and then to the AMC.

"The corporation is planning to cut these trees and construct a complex of shops, cafeteria and a children park here. We are demanding that the memorial be constructed in the empty space in the garden and not touch the trees. Even Bal Thackeray would not have liked hacking of trees in such a manner," said Pathak.

He said common people are against felling of trees.

"Though the corporation is assuring that it will plant five trees to compensate one chopped tree, but the smaller trees cannot match the oxygen-giving capacity of big trees," Pathak claimed.

Aurangabad Mayor Nandkumar Ghodele on Sunday said his administration would not allow trees to be cut for the Thackeray memorial.

"We are going to ensure that no trees are cut for the construction of the memorial," he said.

"Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has halted felling of trees in Mumbai (in Aarey Colony for a metro car shed). We will follow the same policy here," he said.

The memorial will comprise a garden along with a statue of the Sena founder.

On Sunday, former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis' wife Amruta called the ruling Sena a "hypocrite" amid reports that the proposed structure would require felling of some 1,000 trees.

The Sena had opposed cutting of trees for the Metro Line 3 car shed in Mumbai's Aarey Colony citing environmental concerns, and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in one of his first major decisions after taking over as head of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government, had issued a stay on the work.

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