Citizens ‘mourn’ tree felling, demand revival of tree court

Non-governmental organisations and citizens of Mysuru have sought revival of the tree court as a permanent statutory body to prevent rampant incidents of tree felling being reported in the city.

The immediate cause for the demand was the felling of a 30-year-old banyan tree in Srirampura Layout which resulted in a “public mourning’’ on Tuesday.

More than 30 people from different walks of life assembled at the spot where the banyan tree stood till recently and expressed their outrage against the authorities.

The activists sprinkled water and a few grains for the birds of the dead tree and dispersed after symbolically making a statement.

Bhamy V. Shenoy, a social activist and founder of Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP), said they learnt subsequently that a larger banyan tree had been felled in the same area and the reasons accepted by the forest department to allow for such felling do not have any technical backing.

“They have issued permission without conducting any kind of technical analysis to look into the complaint made by the house owners. We spoke to engineers who said there were alternatives to felling a tree like replacing the sewage pipe or making slight diversion’’, he added.

The activists said this calls for the immediate revival of the tree court under which any permission for tree felling has to be cleared only after conducting a statutory hearing and exploring other avenues.

Today the world is facing an existential climate change crisis and the authorities in the city seem to have no concern in preserving the existing trees and are presiding over the erosion of the green cover, said the activists.

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