Mangaluru: A few days after a public hearing held to seek public opinion on the proposal to fell around 666 trees to make way for the DC office at Padil ended in chaos, felling of trees began here amid tight police security on Wednesday, January 10.
The felling of trees began on Wednesday, after a directive from the district Tree Officer approved the cutting of 202 trees on Tuesday night. Since the proposal has been facing stiff oppostion from the environmentalists, who have argued that felling of trees, to make way for a DC office, would cause environmental damages, the area was cordoned off by the police and no activist was allowed entry into the area.
Speaking to media persons, Suma Nayak, an advocate and a environmentalist said that the tree felling began early Wednesday morning after orders were passed on tuesday night.
"We were not allowed to file objection on the tree cutting. While the order passed sanctions cutting of 202 trees, we are not sure of how many were cut on the first day as we were denied permission to enter the area," she said.
The proposal of constructing a new DC office complex requires felling of 502 big trees and 164 smaller ones, on nearly six acres at Alake village in Padil.
The forest department had on January 3 conducted a public meeting seeking opinions/objections from the public on the proposal, as is mandated by the Karnataka high court and Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976 in cases where number trees to be felled is more than 50/ hectare. Though 189 people submitted their opinion, several felt that the hearing should be held again considering the chaotic situation that prevailed during the session.
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