Unless tree felling is restricted, our green cover may disappear through greed and ignorance. The GoK enacted the KPTA, 1976, which made permission from the Forest Dept mandatory for felling trees.
According to the Trees Act, trees may only be felled with prior permission of the Forest Dept which has the duty and liability to preserve and protect trees. Anyone (including officials of govt/civic bodies) is subject to criminal prosecution for felling a tree without the required permission.
This requirement of official permission has prevented large scale felling of trees, and has also restrained people and officials from unnecessarily felling trees owing to fear of criminal prosecution. Thus the KPTA thus put a brake on tree felling and helped protect our green cover.
Almost all the 30 species (many major fruit trees) now included for exemption in addition to the earlier 11 constitute the major tree wealth of both rural and urban Karnataka. It'll/It'd devastate bird life and spread pests.
It unfortunately seems like the Forest Depart which is the official and public protector of trees is encouraging reckless tree felling. No tree planting programme can ever compensate the loss of existing large and old trees.
While this move to expand the exemption list could amount to dereliction of duty by the Forest Dept at the general cost of the State and the environment, it is also a move that belies rationale and gives rise to a range of suspicions about the motives involved.
Today as our/Karnataka State is losing its tree cover and the effects of climate change connected with decimation of tree cover are becoming apparent, there is need to place more restrictions on tree felling rather than expand the exemption list of trees that may be freely felled.
The proposed removal of the restriction on 30 more common species of trees will hasten mindless killing of trees. So, the amendment needs to be opposed by all right-thinking people. The Tree Act shud in fact b further strengthened and made more stringent to protect the Tree Wealth.
Petitions updated on Saturday, May 22, 2010 @ 06:30 hrs