Gopinath Munde memorial to claim 110 trees

Aurangabad: More than 100 trees may face the axe for a proposed memorial to BJP stalwart Gopinath Munde here in Maharashtra, the latest in a series of controversial projects requiring hacking of trees.

The government's public works department (PWD) has sought permission from the local civic body for felling 110 trees for construction of late Munde's memorial in Aurangabad in central Maharashtra, an official said on Friday.

Soon after coming to power last month, the Shiv Sena- led government stayed construction of a Metro carshed in Mumbai's Aarey Colony, a green belt where over 2,000 trees have already been cut for the project.

Then reports emerged that some 1,000 trees need to be felled for a proposed memorial to Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray here. This memorial has been planned at Priyadarshini Garden in the Cidco area of the city.

Early this week, Sena leader and former Aurangabad MP Chandrakant Khaire said Chief Minister and party chief Uddhav Thackeray had given "oral orders" against felling of trees for the proposed memorial of his father.

Munde's memorial has been planned on Jalna Road on a piece of land belonging to the state government's milk scheme department. "We have received a letter from the public works department in which they have asked for permission to cut down 110 trees.

They have mentioned the place where memorial of Gopinath Munde is planned," said Garden Superintendent Vijay Patil adding, "We will forward the application to the tree committee of the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation.”