Activists tear down letters favouring felling of 537 trees
Mysore/Mysuru: The public hearing conducted by the Forest Department this morning here on felling of roadside trees for NHAI’s (National Highways Authority of India)Highway expansion plans, saw environmental activists tearing up consent letters that were in support of tree-felling.
The Forest Department had invited objections, if any, from members of the public for proposed felling of 537 trees of various species along the National Highway service road on a 9-km stretch from Bannur Ring Road junction (Devegowda Circle) to APMC junction on Nanjangud road, for service road expansion.
The public hearing today on the felling of trees took place near APMC Yard on Mysuru-Nanjangud road.
Ahead of the public hearing, about 30 members of the public and environmental activists signed the register. The Forest Department set the tone for the hearing by collecting letters (for and against) for the felling of trees. After this, the Forest Department announced that they had received 24 letters that were for and 22 against the felling of trees.
Objecting to the announcement, the activists who were opposed to the felling of trees, questioned the veracity of claims made by the Forest Department, when only 30 of them had registered today and the Department had received a much higher number of letters.
Wondering how this could happen, the activists demanded raising of hands by the participants, which however did not take place amid the confusions and contradictions.
Accusing the officials of favouring only those who were in support of felling of trees, the activists, terming the entire exercise as farce, tore down the consent letters that supported tree felling.
After the hearing, the Forest Department authorities announced that they would formally announce the Department’s decision in a couple of days.
ACF Rangaswamy, RFO Prashanth Kumar, NHAI Engineers Ramesh, Irfan and Jayaswamy, DRFOs Prasanna, Satish and other officials were present.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Mysuru District Convener Malavika Gubbivani, Wildlife activist Tanuja, Team Mysore’s Hiriyanna and Anand, activist Darshan and other members of the public and nearby villagers took part in the public hearing.