53 trees saved from axe in Edappally

Published - June 11, 2024 07:27 am IST - KOCHI

Trees at Social Forestry office, Edappally, in the city on Friday.

Trees at Social Forestry office, Edappally, in the city on Friday. | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

As many as 53 trees located on the holding of the Social Forestry Wing of the Forest department, have been spared from felling as the department has decided to redraw its construction plans on the campus.

The Wing had earlier obtained the concurrence of the District Tree Committee for felling 59 trees located on the Edappally campus for constructing an office complex and a residential building for its officials.

Though the decision had invited the opposition of some green organisations, the Forest department had maintained that the building project, which was funded by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, was mooted way back in 2008. The department had said that no trees with bird nests would be cut down in the process. It had also offered to carry out compensatory afforestation in lieu of trees that would have to be axed for the project.

However, B. H. Mansoor, a Kochi-based lawyer took up the issue with the Kerala High Court. The Forest department informed the court that it shall leave 53 trees on the campus untouched and limit the number of trees to be cut down to just six.

The department has also altered its original plan and decided to shift the residential project out of the Edappally campus. It has decided to save the green cover and trees on the compound and to shift the residential complex to Suvarnodyanam, the holding owned by the department at Nedumbassery, according to an affidavit filed before the court. However, the change in plan needs to be cleared by NABARD, it said.

According to the revised plan, the office complex would be shifted to the place where the residential building was proposed and only six trees may have to be removed from the campus, the department informed the court.

The department has also offered to biologically enrich the existing green space by planting some more endemic and rare, and endangered species of trees.

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