Mr. Annamalai, who admitted to cutting the tree, said that he had paid Rs. 2,500 to a contractor to cut the tree. Prior to cutting the tree he was not aware of the rules.
A 10-year-old tree was cut in LML Colony in Ward 55 on Thursday night. According to Revenue Department officials, the owner of a car workshop axed the tree as a branch of it rested and subsequently damaged a small portion of the wall.
The officials also said that he had not sought permission prior to cutting the tree.
The incident came to light on Friday morning when a few residents complained to the area Councillor K.N. Ranganathan and also the Department officials.
Mr. Ranganathan said that the residents informed him of the tree cut on Friday morning. He visited the spot and then alerted the Department and Corporation officials, who also visited the spot.
He also said that the car workshop owner V. Annamalai had cut the tree as a branch had damaged the upper part of the sidewall.
Mr. Annamalai, who admitted to cutting the tree, said that he had paid Rs. 2,500 to a contractor to cut the tree. Prior to cutting the tree he was not aware of the rules. Nor of the permissions required. Only after residents gathered there and officials arrived, he understood the gravity of the situation.
R. Raveendran, Honorary Secretary, Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore, said that those who want to cut tree should approach officials in the Revenue Department, who would take a call. Based on the permission, they would have to approach the Coimbatore Corporation, which would auction the tree for cutting.
K. Kalidas, a member of the Tree Protection Committee, said that the organisation had been fighting against illegal tree cutting. In this particular incident, the offender was liable for punishment. The district Collector has constituted the Committee comprising government officials and NGO members to check tree felling.
Revenue Department officials, who visited the site had informed the Revenue Divisional Officer, Coimbatore, S. Shanthakumar, of the incident. Mr. Shanthakumar said that he had asked his officials to arrive at a value for the felled tree and levy the same as fine.
The Department slapped two or three fines a month for the offence, he added. Coimbatore has a long record of offenders being punished.
Those caught cutting trees were caught and slapped with cases on charges of damaging public properties.
There have also been instances of such cases going to court and magistrates asking the guilty to plant trees to offset the loss.