Staff Correspondent

Over 300 trees have been axed in the city in the recent past

Main demands Toll-free helpline should be set up at Aranya Bhavan Forest Department should publish newsletter on afforestationCoordination should be ensured among public utilities

MYSORE: The Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP) has urged the Forest Department to constitute a tree court to bring about transparency in tree felling in the city limits.

Besides, it has also sought a toll-free helpline at Aranya Bhavan that people can make use of to inform the department about any illegal tree felling.

The demand follows the action of several departments that have felled huge trees in the city to undertake several works.

According to sources in the department, over 300 trees have been axed in the city in the recent past.

While citizens have urged government departments to conserve the existing green cover in the city, the departments have mostly ignored it.

No one punished

The MGP has asked the Conservator of Forests to make known to the public the number of trees that have been felled, their location and the reason for which they were axed.

It has said that none of those involved in tree felling has been booked and punished so far.

A tree adalat should be held at least once in three months where grievances of people regarding tree felling can be redressed.

Coordination

While demanding transparency and accountability in allowing felling of trees, the MGP has said that coordination should be ensured between the Mysore City Corporation, the Police Department, BSNL and electricity supply companies.

Auction

"Before auctioning any aged tree or those obstructing traffic, it must be published in all newspapers for the public to make note of and register their objections, if any.

This should be done as the public are the stakeholders, and the Forest Department is only a custodian of the tree," the MGP said.

Newsletter

Further, it has said that the Forest Department should publish a newsletter at least once a month or a quarter and distribute it among the departments concerned. Such a newsletter should contain details of the progress made in planting trees and location of trees felled or auctioned.

On creating awareness, the MGP has said that nature camps and awareness camps should be conducted in schools. Tree wardens should be appointed to keep a vigil on illegal tree felling, it added.

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