Margao : Shadow Council for Margao (SCM)Convenor Savio Coutinho informed that, Margao Municipal Council will soon invite 8 lakhs worth tenders for the Cutting/Trimming of trees. “135 trees will face the axe. This exercise should be done under the supervision of a Forest Dept official,” he insisted.
It is common for every party or Panel contesting elections, to boldly state in their respective manifesto that they would make the city clean and green, while in reality it hardly happens. “Same is the case of the Model Margao-Fatorda Forward Council in Margao. After all the assurances, their first project of the new term incidentally being that of showing the axe to huge number of 135 trees around Margao and Fatorda,” said Coutinho.
SCM informed, type of trees that will be trimmed/cut include, Banyan, Coconut, Savor, Mango, Nilgiri, Rain Trees, Tambrind, Ashoka, Jack Fruit, Bhendi, Salon, Rumbod, Gulmohar, Bhendi, Pipal, Neem etc.
“Having been certified by the authorities, as trees posing danger to the public, and armed with an order from the South District Collector, the MMC will be soon invite 8 lakhs worth tenders for the Cutting/Trimming of the trees,” stated Coutinho.
In this connection Shadow Council for Margao has written to the MMC and the District Collector suggesting a slew of measures to ensure that the exercise is conducted in true spirit of containment of the risks as supposedly identified.
While categorically stating that the SCM has no objection to the cutting/trimming of any such tree posing risks to the public, SCM called for the exercise to be conducted under the supervision of a forest department offical.
“Presence of a Forest department offical becomes even more essential as we have experienced in the past how trees were fully cut in the guise of trimming,” stated Countinho.
SCM further stated that the list of trees was drawn several months ago, hence should be inspected and certified of it’s present status since some of the trees are already felled by Municipal workers.
Convenor of SCM Savio Coutinho said that the scope of work for the agency should be defined in the work order/tender. “This becomes essential as we often see huge amounts quoted for cutting trees, but the agency eventually only cuts down the branches from the tree trunk, and thereafter remain along the road side for several months. And later the municipality struggles and incurs additional financial burden to cut them into smaller pieces so as to transport the same,” he said.
SCM further alleged that on going through the list, in many cases (private owned trees), it can be well established that certain representatives have offered to cut the private owned trees at the cost of public funds. “We suggest that all such private owners should be first issued a notice to cut/trim their own trees that pose danger; and failing which, the Council could cut/trim the tree and recover the costs from the owners.
Shadow Council for Margao has also called for maintaining proper records of the logs/wood/timber. And suggested that Income could be derived from the valuable timber, while other type of logs could be handed over to the crematorium at Pajifond.