GHMC official suspended over illegal felling of 73 trees in Hyderabad

The inquiry revealed that the felling had taken place in the presence of manager K. Chandrakanth Reddy.

By Anoushka Caroline Williams  Published on  27 May 2023 2:16 PM GMT
GHMC official suspended over illegal felling of 78 trees in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: The Principal Chief Conservator of forests, Government of Telangana issued a notice stating that an official named Chandrakanth Reddy, Forest Range Officer and Circle manager of the Serilingampalli Zone, GHMC who was involved in the felling of 73 peltophorum trees has been suspended.

“After three weeks of looking into the matter, the officials at GHMC found the involvement of Chandrakanth Reddy and suspended him. It is very disheartening to see that the person who was supposed to protect our greenery turned out to be the one to harm so many trees,” said activist Vinay Vangala to NewsMeter.

Around 73 trees were felled without the Tree Protection Committee’s consent along the length of the road connecting Hyderabad’s Hi-Tech City flyover to Yashoda Hospital, supposedly for road widening.

Vinay Vangala, a resident of Hyderabad, filed a complaint on 1 May regarding the large number of trees being chopped on the Gachibowli–Kukatpally Housing Board road. “The incident took place on Sunday afternoon, when the Secretariat was opened, under the watch of two traffic police personnel,” said the activist.

Citizens were outraged by the incident and Mr. Vangala took to Twitter to alert the authorities. “This is a horrible crime,” he tweeted and added, “Oxygen producers are cut down rather than relocated! Location: KPHB Road to the Hitech City flyover.”

Following his complaint, the Chilkur forest range officer was instructed to inspect the area and submit a report.

After a thorough inspection, it was found that the trees were felled without taking permission from the officials concerned.

Further, it was also reported that they had seized two Ashok Leyland mini trucks and interrogated the drivers, who were present at the scene, about the trees. The drivers said the trees were being felled by the traffic police and GHMC staff. The illegally-felled trees were then loaded into the GHMC vehicle and transported.

Mr. Vinay said, “The traffic police officers present there gradually vanished but forest official Prathima arrived and seized two automobiles. Citizens who can’t wait at bus stations had been inconvenienced by the chopped-down rubbish.”

The inquiry revealed that the felling had taken place in the presence of manager K. Chandrakanth Reddy.

“It is great to see GHMC and the forest department looking into the matter so sternly, without being partial in any way. I hope this is a huge reality check not only to the citizens but also to officers of GHMC and something like this never happens again,” Mr. Vangala said.

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