Kerala

Exemptions likely in ban on tree-felling

IDUKKI The issue of permission for felling eucalyptus at Vattavada, Kanthallur, and Kottakambur villages may find a solution with District Collector H.Dinesan forming a team of revenue, forest, and survey officials to mark the areas for giving exemption from a blanket ban on tree-felling imposed in Devikulam taluk.

The ban was imposed as per a report submitted by the then Principal Secretary, Land Revenue, Nivedita P. Haran in 2015.

A large area of Vattavada, the main cool-season vegetable cultivating village, was under eucalyptus cultivation and the government last year gave permission to fell trees on private land after submitting an application with proper documents to the village offices.

It had been found that eucalyptus cultivation resulted in depletion of groundwater and reduced the area of vegetable cultivation at Vattavada and Kanthallur. The blanket ban on cutting trees had affected the livelihood of people and efforts to bring back the area under vegetable cultivation.

A major issue was that farmers did not get the benefit as only a few of them had title deed or proper documents to apply for the permission to cut eucalyptus. A recent meeting took note of the issue and it was decided to form a special team for land verification. The Collector had also asked village officers to give immediate permission for felling eucalyptus on land with proper documents.

The Forest Department had earlier objected to the move to lift the ban fearing that trees on forestland would also be felled under the cover of permission for felling eucalyptus on private land.

A forest official said Vattavada and Kanthallur were surrounded by forests and trees there would be felled if permission was given to cut eucalyptus on private land. A revenue official said as a large number of farmers at Vattavada did not have proper land documents, they did not benefit from the relaxation of the ban on tree felling.

Devikulam Subcollector S. Prem Krishnan said it was decided to conduct the survey in a time frame. It would help in identifying the land inherited by farmers and getting the benefits of relaxation on tree felling in Devikulam taluk.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 11:42:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/exemptions-likely-in-ban-on-tree-felling/article32911835.ece

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