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Regenerated forests axed in Kerala

Staff Reporter
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The bamboo cut down in Attapady.
The bamboo cut down in Attapady.

: Regenerated forests are being destroyed in Attappady, Palakkad district, Kerala. In the latest incident, large tracts of bamboo from Pottamala in the Agali forest range planted under the Rs.219-crore Japan-aided Attappady Eco-restoration and Tribal Empowerment Project have been cut down.

According to the reports reaching here, the bamboo was cut, stacked and transported out. Also, a large number of trees on private property in Attappady was cut down using the provisions of an Act that allowed cutting of trees planted on private property.

The law was aimed at encouraging planting of trees in private land, but this had now been turned on its head, said M. Sukumaran of the Attappady Protection Committee.

Calling for an inquiry into the cutting down of bamboo protected under the Attappady Hills Area Development Society (AHADS) project, he said one of the major achievements of the Attappady eco-restoration project would be lost if 11,000 hectares afforested under the scheme was not protected. The biggest ecological problem faced by the Attappady hills was the destruction of evergreen forests, which resulted in desertification of the area and marginalisation of its 30,000-strong tribal population, Mr. Sukumaran said.

To address the problem that could also threaten the nearby rain forests of the Silent Valley National Park, the AHADS was started in 1996.


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