The activists of Citizens’ Forum for Mangalore Development succeeded in temporarily saving the life of a large Peepul tree in front of the district police headquarters in Mangalore. The tree was being chopped down the workers of the Mangalore City Corporation to facilitate widening and concreting of the road. However, the tree might be cut down any time.
According to the activists, MCC has no right to cut down trees. Ms Vidya Dinker of the forum told reporters that MCC workers must receive authorization from different administrative departments before felling a tree.
MCC made its first attempt to fell the tree on Thursday. But they returned when the Citizens’ Forum activists said that they required permission to do so. On Friday, the workers returned and again tried to cut the tree.
Ms. Dinker accused Raviraj, the assistant conservator of forests, of giving “cryptic responses” when approached on the subject of the illegal chopping down of the tree. She alleged that Raviraj had tried to mislead them by directing them to other officers when he knew that he was the supreme authority on the subject.
Mr. Raviraj said that he had refused the MCC permission to axe the tree. However, permission could have been granted by the Tree Authority, an appellate body, of which the mayor is the chairman. He admitted that he did not know if the Tree Authority had granted the permission to axe the tree.