Mangaluru, Sept 25, 2022: Accusing the Forest Department of supporting felling of 34 trees on the Marnamikatte- Nandigudde stretch of Fr. Muller Road, the National Environment Care Federation (NECF), Mangaluru, said it was contemplating approaching the National Green Tribunal on the issue.
Talking to reporters here on Saturday, NECF general secretary Shashidhar Shetty said the department did a formality of holding a public consultation on September 8 regarding permission sought by Mangaluru Smart City Limited to cut down 34 trees for widening the road stretch.
“We opposed felling of trees. We also suggested use of the parallel road, which abuts the burial ground, for traffic movement and avoid felling of trees.”
Mr. Shetty said department will not listen to their contention and Assistant Conservator of Forest, who is the tree officer, will shortly give permission to cut down the trees.
Benadict Fernandes, a member of NECF, said the impending decision to permit felling of 34 trees will go against ruling of National Green Tribunal that mandates that such decisions have to be taken by Urban Tree Committee.
“Though names have been proposed, the Government is yet to notify constitution of urban tree committee. Allowing felling of trees in absence of tree committee is a violation of NGT’s ruling. Hence we are contemplating approaching NGT on the issue,” he said.
When pointed to contention of the local residents before the ACF that outsiders were opposing felling of 34 trees, Mr. Fernandes said any person can question the act of felling trees. “Moreover, I am not an outsider. I am resident of Jeppu Magila and I have been seeing these trees since my childhood. It pains to lose this green cover,” he said.