Around 100 first-generation trees were cut in the Kodugu district of Karnataka's Coorg without consulting the forest department after the Deputy Commissioner (DC) ordered the axing of ‘dangerous’ trees ahead of chief minister HD Kumaraswamy's visit, according to several media reports.
The orders were apparently issued on 17 July to ensure the CM’s safety and around 100 trees were cut by the same evening. “We were not consulted and no survey was done to identify dangerous trees. All those which the authorities thought were bent because of strong winds have been brought down. Madikeri is called the Scotland of India, it is the region where Cauvery river originates. Already there is a lot of damage to the green belt in Madikeri in the guise of roads and tourism, this is just adding to it,” a forest department official told the Deccan Chronicle.
Meanwhile, according to Times Now, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Srividya PI later clarified that her orders were misinterpreted. She said that she had ordered only for pruning of trees and that some trees were being axed to prevent any unfortunate incident. As per a report in The New Indian Express, the district commissioner had issued an order to the forest department to chop off the trees present on the path marked for the CM’s visit, along the Talacauvery-Bhagamandala stretch. Similarly, trees were felled on the Boikeri-Madikeri stretch.
However, the Coorg Wildlife Society criticised the axing of trees and said that instead of chopping the trees, the bent trees could have been tied to a support. Locals also hinted at the role of the timber mafia behind it.
Karnataka BJP condemned the move in a tweet criticising the chief minister for not allocating any funds for the region in the budget and instead giving this 'gift' to the people of Kodagu for questioning his failure.
CM Sri. @hd_kumaraswamy doesn’t allocate any funds to Kodagu in his budget, His govt doesn’t help victims of rain in Kodagu & now more than 100 trees axed in Kodagu ahead of his visit. Is this a gift from ‘Mannina Maga’ to people of Kodagu for questioning his failure? pic.twitter.com/gb7bvNchTe
— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) July 18, 2018
In June, hundreds of people and environmentalist in Delhi came together to save 16,500 trees from being getting cut as a part of a redevelopment exercise an were successful in getting a stay on the activity.
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Updated Date: Jul 19, 2018 13:59:48 IST