The Pasumai Theekkanru scheme announced by R. Natarajan, Director, Fire Service and Rescue Service Department, to plant 10,000 saplings all over the state in fire stations have been violated by the department at Denkanikottai in Krishnagiri recently.

Over 20 fully- grown trees were felled on the campus, thus violating the order issued by the Director.

The scheme envisaged the planting of at least 30 saplings to improve the greenery in all the fire service stations in the state.

When contacted, S. Selvarajan, Station Officer, Fire Service and Rescue Department, Denkanikottai, said that he was not aware of the incident.

He said that about 30 saplings were planted on the premises of the Station in 1992. The trees include Silver Oak, Silk Cotton, Jambu and Casuarinas.

Mr. Selvarajan said that the employees would have cut the trees as per the oral instructions of Krishnagiri Divisional Officer M. Dakshinamoorthy.

But Mr. M. Dakshinamoorthy said that the trees were axed as part of clean-up operation to free the premises from mosquito and snake menace.

Mr. Dhakshinamoorthy also sought to clarify that the fire service personnel in Denkanikottai might have misunderstood his instructions and felled whole trees instead of cutting only the dense and bushy branches.

Mr. Dhakshinamoorthy said that as per the circular of Mr. Natarajan, he took steps to plant as many as 280 saplings in six fire service stations — Krishnagiri, Bargur, Uthangarai, Pochampalli, Denkanikottai and Hosur.

Environmental experts and organisations here have expressed their concern over the felling of trees.

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