The Deputy Commissioner of Kodagu, Karnataka has issued a preposterous order to cut approximately 100 trees. The so-called ‘dangerous’ trees will be cut down to make way for the chief minister’s visit on 19th July. The orders were issued on Tuesday and by the evening, the administration chopped down around 100-first generation trees. The reason cited for this is the chief minister’s safety. The order is and the cited reason for cutting the trees are absurd. The order hasn’t gone down well with the local residents and the forest department. Boppaiah, a local resident, said, “We have made many requests to the DC to ensure our safety, but that has not been addressed. For a few hours of visit by the chief minister, scores of trees are being cut. The order clearly states that dangerous trees are to be identified. But, according to the local residents, the trees are being axed in haste. This clearly indicates the hand of the timber lobby.”
According to a Deccan Herald report, the order said that a survey needs to be carried out by forest department officials before cutting the trees but it has not been done. A forest department official stated, “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.”
The Kodagu is known for its rich biodiversity and this sad move is harming its greenery. This move is ridiculous as well. If the people of Kodagu area have been living safely with these trees, is the CM of Karnataka some special kind of species that these trees will suddenly turn harmful for his security and safety? With each passing day Karnataka chief minister is crossing all the limits of sycophancy and absurdity. Just few days ago, he employed dramatic tactics in order to fool the common man and to make excuses for the non-performance of his governement. He broke down into tears at a public event expressing deep discontentment towards his coalition with the Congress. A teary-eyed HD Kumaraswamy stated that, “All of you are happy because your elder or younger brother has become the chief minister. But I am not happy. I am swallowing my own pain like poison, like Vishakantha.”
Environmentalists should take cognizance of this issue and must initiate some exemplary action so that in future no one can dare to issue such ridiculous orders.
Just few days ago, hundreds of people and environmentalist in Delhi came together to save 16,500 trees from being getting chopped off and they succeeded in their effort. Similar actions must be taken to save green cover in other parts of India as well. The move to cut down so many trees by citing ‘security’ reasons and without proper process, is ridiculous and sets a bad precedence. At best, this looks like a childish whim of a VIP and at worst, the role of timber mafia cannot be ruled out in this hasty and ill-conceived decision.