Congress corporator Santosh Shetty is once again in the news for the wrong reasons. This time he has been alleged of destroying trees in Nerul. Even though NMMC issues permission for cutting only three trees, Santosh Shetty had cut six trees. The Youth Council of Nerul has raised voice against this and have demanded strict action against the Congress corporator. Congress corporator Santosh Shetty had taken permission from NMMC for cutting three trees that were coming in between the construction of the entry gate at Sector 9 of Nerul. However, going against the permission, Santosh Shetty later cut down six trees. The trees were cut by breaking the lock of the nearby “Rockwatika” gate. The trees included three rain trees, one plum tree, one night jasmine tree and one fruit tree. While the work was done very slyly, the Youth Council of Nerul brought the issue to light. The nexus between the corporator and administration is evident as while a coconut tree in the nearby area is rotting to death and the members have for the past two years appealed to the local Tree Authority to cut the outgrown bushes, no permission has been given. They question why permission was then given to the lush green trees. On the other hand NMMC DMC Jagannath Sinnarkar confirmed that their office had given permission to cut only three trees and assured that strict action would be taken against any violations of cutting more than three trees. When we met Congress corporator Santosh Shetty he accepted that he had permission only to cut three trees but since the other tree were obstructing the religious sculptures, that’s why they had to be cut too. However members of the Youth Council of Nerul said that there was no need to cut down the trees. Only the branches could have been cut for the work. They said that when they reported the case to Nerul police station, the police tossed the responsibility of the case on the Tree Authority. The members allege that the matter was being subdued due to pressure from the local politicians and hence no action is being taken. They further informed that even if permission is received to cut down tress, the action can be carried out only after 15 days. However, Santosh Shetty allegedly cut down the trees just a day after the permission. The members have decided to protest against such destruction of environment in broad daylight without proper justification. From Nerul, Monika Bhosale for NMTV News.
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