Kerala

Greens seek govt. intervention to stop felling of trees on estate

Coffee plants too being rooted out flouting norms, they allege

Environmental organisations in the district have sought government intervention to foil attempts by a private coffee estate management to axe huge trees on the estate spread over nearly 500 acres on the Brahmagiri hills in Thirunelly grama panchayat in the district.

Addressing the media here on Monday, A. Shyjan, president, Brahmagiri Samrakshana Samiti, and N. Badusha, president, Wayanad Prakruthi Samrakshana Samiti, said the estate management had started marking trees to fell them.

The management is also constructing a helipad and digging a pond on the estate after felling coffee plants in the ecologically fragile area flouting all norms.

The estate was owned by a British family, and it was later handed over to others. However, the registration procedures are yet to be completed owing to legal constraints, they added.

Wildlife

Decades ago, the Forest Department had vested nearly 100 acres on the estate as per the Kerala Private Forests (Vesting and Assignment) Act, 1971.

It is also a major habitat of tiger, elephant, and beer. The felling of trees will not only affect wildlife but also several families in the area.

The estate management had temporarily halted attempts to root out coffee plants using excavators and fill nearly seven acres of marshy land near the forest area a few days ago on the intervention of the public and Revenue Department officials.

The ecologically sensitive hill with marshy lands is a major source of water for villagers on the hill slopes.

Since any attempt to fell trees in the area will adversely affect people, an immediate intervention from the State government is the need of the hour, the activists said.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 11:58:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/greens-seek-govt-intervention-to-stop-felling-of-trees-on-estate/article30846077.ece

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