666 trees face axe for DC office complex project

1:40 PM, Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018
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forest-departmentMangaluru: Forest department will conduct a public hearing on Thursday over its proposal to fell 666 trees in the city outskirts for construction of a new DC office complex at Alake village in Padil.

The proposed DC office complex is coming up on a six acre plot. While a petition against felling trees is pending before the National Green Tribunal, an application seeking permission to cut the trees has come to the forest department. Public hearing is necessary for projects that require felling of more than 50 trees as per the orders of the Karnataka High Court and Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976.

Accordingly, the forest department has called for a public hearing to seek opinion of the general public to know whether they are against or in support of felling 666 trees in the land where a new DC office complex is planned, a forest department official stated.

Meanwhile, activists and greens in Mangaluru are all set to fight the move by opposing it during the public hearing. National Environment Care Federation (NECF) state secretary Shashidhar Shetty said a social media campaign has already been commenced to motivate more people to come forward and file their objection.

“Depletion of green cover has already led to climatic changes like shortage of rain, drought, high temperatures and other environmental issues. The project should be shifted to a new place where no trees will have to be cut. As a responsible citizen, it is my constitutional duty to protect the forests and wildlife of my country.

Hence, I have already mailed my objection to the forest department and urged the authorities not to grant permission to fell even a single tree for the project,” Shetty said, adding that he has already sent requests to hundreds of nature lovers to oppose the proposal.

NECF executive member Ashok Bhat congratulated the forest department for holding a public hearing for the first time. “However, they should have given us more time for us to prepare for public hearing,” Bhat said.

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