CPI leader Benoy Viswom has called for immediate governmental intervention to stop tree felling in Attappadi. Addressing presspersons here on Saturday, Mr. Viswom said big-time merchants were carting away valuable timber from Attappadi and nearby areas paying a pittance to small farmers. “The tree felling is on a scale that will damage the starting point of the Siruvani river as well as the nature around the Western Ghats,” Mr. Viswom alleged.

He said during the tenure of the LDF government, in which he was the Forests Minister, tree felling in Attappadi was effectively contained. However, trees were again being cut and taken away after the UDF government came to power.

Mr. Viswom recalled how he had, a few days after assuming office as Forests Minister, had visited Sholayur in Attappadi to take strong steps to prevent timber looting.

“Officials are unable to prevent atrocities on forests because these activities have the blessings of UDF leaders. What little remains of natural resources will be looted in the guise of implementing projects discussed at the Emerging Kerala summit,” he alleged. Mr. Viswom wondered why the “green MLAs” of UDF were keeping mum and had not bothered to visit Wagamon and Attappadi where natural resources were being looted. Referring to the reported boat ride of Forests Minister Ganesh Kumar through Thekkadi lake, the CPI leader said Ministers were not above law and what Mr. Ganesh Kumar had done was violation of law.