The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) is all set to witness depletion of its green cover as the institute has sought permission from the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to cut 164 trees on its premises. This is to facilitate the construction of buildings for acting workshop, auditorium, class room theatre (CRT) and residential purpose.
In the two proposals submitted to the PMC on May 12, the FTII has sought permission to cut 145 trees on 72,279 sq m plot for constructing academic buildings and another 19 trees for constructing a residential building on a 1.5 lakh sq m plot.
“The proposals were tabled before the Pune Tree Authority. The administration has given its opinion on the proposal and they will discuss the matter at the August 7 meeting,” said Ashok Ghorpade, PMC garden suprintendent.
He said the civic officials had visited the site where the trees are proposed be cut and that the recommendations of administration would also be presented before the authority at the meeting.
The trees that are likely to face axe are as old as 30 years, barring Ailanthus tress which is 80-year-old and the tallest with the height 16 m. The species that are likely to be affected are custard apple (sitafal), glericidia, babul, neem, fig, mango, sparthodia, gulmohar, sandalwood, tamrind, ashok, peepal, jamun, ramfal, sonchafa, putravanti and pomegranate.
The cutting of 145 trees has been proposed in survey number 78, 79, 81, 80/4 and 80/8 of Erandwane. There are at least 1,752 trees on the 72,279 sq m plot where the PMC building department has given permission to construct academic buildings only after the permission for tree cutting by the authority.
While seeking permission, the FTII reasoned that it had to select the said plots as there was no other appropriate open area on the campus. The PMC should allow the institute to cut trees for the construction of the proposed buildings, it added. FTII also said that the institute was prepared to pay the required fee along with the assurance of planting trees after tree cutting.
However, the civic administration replied saying that while 57 trees can be cut, 86 will have to be replanted. Two trees that do not come in the sanction plan should not be touched, it added.
In the proposal seeking cutting of 19 trees on survey number 49, 50, 51, 52, 53 in Erandwane, the administration recommended that only three trees be cut and 16 be replanted. “The FTII should take the service of experts during the replantation of trees and also ensure that the new trees to be planted are local species,” said an expert.