Pune: For 50-year-old Rajeev Upadhye, it was difficult to digest that the sandal tree has been seeing in his bungalow from his childhood has been cut and stolen. Upadhye lives at Saket Society, opposite Siddhartha Towers in Kothrud with his wife and daughter. The family had been out on a vacation, and on May 1, he found that his sandal tree was cut systematically and stolen. He has filed an FIR with the Kothrud police station.
His bigger worry is that he can neither remove remains of the tree, nor dispose it off without the permission of the PMC. Interestingly, after an appeal from the police department in 2008, he had applied for cutting down the tree in his bungalow and the PMC did not permit him. Upadhye had said that after reported thefts of sandal trees in the city, pune police had appealed to bungalow owners to apply for getting rid of sandal trees. He had approached the police and the Garden department of Pune Municipal Corporation in 2008.
The tree officer with the Garden Department of PMC had denied the permission, stating “There is no provision for permitting the cutting the tree or trimming it on the grounds that there is a possibility of theft; the permission is not granted.”
After filing an FIR, Upadhye told dna that the PMC officials have recorded its age as 20 years in 2008. “Despite this”, he said, “I have mentioned in my FIR that the sandal tree is aged 30, since I have seen it for at least for 30 years. I don’t know about the disposal of its remains. I would be approaching the Garden department of the PMC yet again, this time for seeking guidance on disposal of the remaining portion of the tree.”