More than a dozen trees were felled by the Armed Reserve Police personnel to form the approach road to the District Police Office (DPO) on the Chennai-Bangalore NH 7.
Sources in the district administration told The Hindu that permission was not obtained to fell the trees on the land measuring around two and half hectares falling under the Survey Number 64.12 in Paiyanapalli village a month ago. The DPO though, has a clear approach road from the District Collectorate Road.
The clearing for the approach road was made on the orders of the then Superintendent of Police J. Rajendran during the fag end of December last year, it was alleged. When officials from the Revenue Department questioned the authority of the police department in felling the trees, the reason given was that the DPO should be visible from the National Highway and the police needed a direct access to the NH. But when the Armed Police were questioned, the clearing activity had stopped abruptly.
However, it was alleged that trees were sold off in the market for Rs. 15,000.
A district administration official disclosed that the land in dispute was categorised as grazing land and was kept vacant to set up an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) in times of natural calamities under the disaster management system. A proposal too was sent to the Government for establishing the EOC in the said land.
When contacted, R. Sathish, Revenue Divisional Officer, Krishnagiri, however, denied seizure of wooden logs from the police department.
A show-cause notice has been sent to the Superintendent of Police regarding felling of trees and formation of road without obtaining permission through the District Collector Mr. C.N. Maheshwaran. No clarification has come from the police side so far, Mr. Sathish added.
Abishek Dixit, Superintendent of Police, said that the department would adhere to the rules and regulations of the government and did not want to lock horns with the Revenue Department. “We will continue to use the regular road formed from the Collector's Office road hereafter,” he said.