Four forest staff suspended

Disciplinary action has been initiated by the Forest Department against four staff, including two range officers, for failing to check the illegal felling of 200 native trees in a private estate in Naduvattam.

According to officials, the estate in question, the Silver Cloud Estate, had applied for permission to fell 500 silver oak trees in 2018 and had been given the permission to do so by the district committee headed by the Collector. However, in November and December of 2020 and January of 2021, the estate had felled 200 native trees along with the 500 trees they had been given permission for felling.

Illegal tree felling

Recently, officials from Nilgiris Forest Division visited the estate and found that they had illegally felled the trees and booked a case under the Tamil Nadu Preservation of Private Forests Act.

Disciplinary action had been initiated against two forest range officers, one forester and a guard who had since been suspended, forest officials confirmed. The four had been posted in-charge of the range when the illegal felling occurred.

Illegal tree felling without proper permission has become a source of concern in the Nilgiris forest division. Recently, reports of private estate owners circumventing established procedures to obtain permission to fell trees by claiming them to be at risk of falling on houses led the department to set up a check-post in Kil Kotagiri to prevent illegal movement of timber from the area.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 10:47:15 PM |

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