KARNATAKA

12 sandalwood trees felled

Deed has been done: A forest official inspecting the trees that were chopped down on the premises of Regional Commissioner’s office in Mysore on Saturday.

Deed has been done: A forest official inspecting the trees that were chopped down on the premises of Regional Commissioner’s office in Mysore on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: — PHOTO: M.A.SRIRAM

Staff Correspondent

They were chopped down without permission from Forest Department



Activists protest against felling

Forest Department plans to file criminal case against guilty



MYSORE: About 27 medium-sized trees were chopped down allegedly by the linemen of the Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Company (CESC) on the premises of the office of the Regional Commissioner, opposite Kalamandira here. The incident came to light on Saturday drawing strong condemnation from the Forest Department and green activists.

The trees were felled without obtaining permission from the Forest Department. There were 12 sandalwood trees among those that had been felled. The only reason to chop them down was because their branches had been touching electricity cables stretching over the Central Food Technological Research Institute up to the office of the Regional Commissioner. Although department officials maintain that permission had not been given to CESC to cut the trees, the linemen went ahead with the act.

Deputy Conservator of Forests Chikkappaiah rushed to the spot with a team of officers and inspected the loss to the environment.

Forest officials now plan to file a criminal case against those responsible for allegedly committing a cognisable offence under the Forest Act by illegally chopping down valuable trees.

According to Forest sources, the DCF has asked the Range Forest Officer to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report to him in a couple of days for initiating legal steps against those responsible.

Public outcry

The incident provoked sharp criticism from green activists and the general public. “The CESC linemen are in the habit of cutting trees on the pretext that tree branches touch electricity cables. Instead of pruning the branches, they chop down trees, which is condemnable,” said a statement from the Association of the Concerned and Informed Citizens of Mysore (ACICM). The association maintained that at least 2,000 trees had been chopped in Mysore city in 2007 by various departments for one or the other reason. It has sought stringent action against the CESC employees responsible for the recent act and demands their suspension until a detailed investigation.

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