Kerala tree felling: Former Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan says order was passed in good faith but was misused

E. Chandrasekharan   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Former Revenue Minister E. Chandrasekharan said on Friday that the department had issued an order allowing chopping of reserved trees, except sandalwood, by the owners in patta (private) land in good faith. However, it was misinterpreted and misused, he said.

In the wake of the revelation that a large number of trees were cut down following the Revenue Department order, Mr. Chandrasekharan told the media that after it came to the notice that the orders were misused, they were withdrawn.

According to the Land Registration Act, 1964, farmers are allowed to cut trees planted or uprooted in the allotted land. However, cutting trees would not be allowed in all patta land. The decision to withdraw the orders was taken after the misuse came to the department’s attention, Mr. Chandrasekharan said, adding that no further orders were issued.

He said such an order was issued considering the request and views of farmers and their organisations. Besides, the legislation brought by K.M. Mani, who was the Revenue Minister in 2005, was also taken into consideration. Mr. Chandrasekharan refuted the allegation that he met the accused while he was the Revenue Minister.

Timber merchants neither contacted the office nor did he know the accused or had spoken to them directly, he said.

It was further found that the order was issued by the Revenue Department by overruling the objection of the Forest Department. A suggestion to take the permission of the Law Department was also rejected.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 7:50:51 AM |

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