Greens concerned over ‘indiscriminate’ tree felling

Environmentalists have raised serious concern over the indiscriminate felling of trees in different parts of the district in the wake of the freak accident at Kothamangalam in Ernakulam in which five school students were killed after a huge tree fell on the school bus they were travelling in last Friday.

A number of huge trees on both sides of the Kozhikode-Mavoor road near Mavoor were cut down during the last few days in the pretext of felling “dangerously positioned” trees. “But most of them did not pose any threat to the safety of the passengers of vehicles,” said P.T. Muhammed, general convener of the Kerala Samskarika Parishad, an active cultural and environment protection forum. These trees, which were nesting places for a number of migratory birds visiting the Mavoor Wetlands, were planted decades ago on the World Environment Day.

The office-bearers of the forum, which has sent a complaint to the District Collector regarding the “indiscriminate felling of trees”, said the authorities should take immediate action to check the reckless deeds of people, who is blind to the environmental implications of their deed.

“The timber dealers who have been eying these trees for long are using the unfortunate accident at Kothamangalam as an excuse now,” said Mr. Muhammed.

The workers of the Paristhithi Samrakshana Samithi, a prominent environmental forum in the city, are also upset with the development. “Trees are being felled flouting all norms citing the accident as a reason,” said T.V. Rajan, secretary of the samithi. “We have decided to meet the District Collector in person to discuss the issue,” said Mr. Rajan. He said creating local defence was the only way out till the authorities wake up to the seriousness of the issue. “It’s sad that people are waiting for some or the other reasons to cut down the trees that take decades to grow to a substantial size,” he said.

In the meanwhile, the Deputy Conservator of Forest, N.T. Sajan, said the District Tree Committee, which used to give permission for felling trees for developmental purposes only after proper inspection, is now leaving the decision to the Revenue Divisional Officer in the wake of the new development. “Because no one wants to take a risk,” said Mr. Sajan.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 10:10:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/greens-concerned-over-indiscriminate-tree-felling/article7377188.ece

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