Mangaluru, Jan 10 2018: Objections galore from environmental activists allows Tree Officer on Jan 9, Tuesday to grant permission to the DK DC to cut 202 trees at Padil for building the new office complex of the Deputy Commissioner on 5.89 acres of land.
The tree officer, who is the Assistant Conservator of Forests, had invited objections from people to cut 600 trees. A public hearing was conducted at the office of Deputy Conservator of Forests last week.
Considering duly the objections, the environment impact and public’s need for the new office, Deputy Conservator of Forests Karikalan . the Tree Officer, of the rank of Assistant Conservator of Forests, has granted permission for felling of 202 trees. Of these, 185 trees were more than 30 cm in girth, while 17 are lesser.
According to sources, more than 1,000 e-mails have been received and a majority of them are against felling of trees. When contacted, activist Suma Nayak said that as per the rule, an opportunity should be given to appeal before the Tree Authority. It may be noted that activists who have been opposing the felling of trees had initiated a social media campaign to urge the public to file their objections against the felling of trees.
Questioning the order, Suma R. Nayak, petitioner before the National Green Tribunal against felling of trees, alleged that the Tree Officer had not considered the objections filed by her and other activists during the public hearing. Moreover, the order has been passed while her miscellaneous application questioning the dismissal of her petition was coming up for hearing in the NGT on January 22.
She said that the Tree Officer has denied the activists an opportunity to file an appeal before the Tree Authority against his order.
Another activist Shashidhar Shetty said that the days were not far when another order would be passed for felling the remaining trees. The Tree Officer was not serious in protecting greenery in the city, he said.
Officer Karikalan said that there is no stay order by the NGT against the Tree Officer on allowing felling of trees.