Cut a tree for Holi? Face imprisonment or penalty, warns BMC

Cut a tree for Holi? Face imprisonment or penalty, warns BMC
Cutting trees and branches without an authorised permission can lead to imprisonment for a week to one year (Representational Image)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has appealed to Mumbaikars not to cut trees during the upcoming Holi festival.

The cutting of trees is illegal and can attract a penalty, the civic body warned in a release issued yesterday.

A majority of Hindus traditionally burn a symbolic pyre to signify good defeating evil during Holika Dahan on the festival, which will be celebrated tomorrow, March 1.

The civic body noted that the wood used for burning the pyre is often cut by revellers from trees and its branches. As a result, it has asked its tree authority to keep a strict watch on those cutting trees in the metropolis during the festival of colours.

As per provisions of the Maharashtra Protection and Preservation of Trees Act, 1975, those found guilty of cutting trees and branches without an authorised permission from the tree authority, can be sentenced to imprisonment for a week to one year, the BMC said.

A fine of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 can also be imposed on those them, it added.

Just last week, the Bombay High Court had ordered the BMC to restrain from cutting trees anywhere in the city till further orders.

“The BMC will not take any decisions on pending applications for felling, removing, or transplanting trees anywhere in the city until further orders, or, in cases of extreme emergency involving threats of loss of human life or property,” the bench comprising of justices A S Oka and P N Deshmukh had said while hearing a plea filed by an activist.

Meanwhile, in the neighbouring Thane, the civic body decided to dissolve its existing tree authority as its members were not adequately educated on the subject.

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