`Save me, I am green': Shock, anger after Serilingampally resident chop down 100YO tree

Forest officials swung into action after being alerted by a BJP member. He noticed the felling on February 7 and lodged a complaint with the forest department a day after.

By Anusha Puppala  Published on  12 Feb 2022 2:41 AM GMT
`Save me, I am green: Shock, anger after Serilingampally resident chop down 100YO tree

Hyderabad Telangana forest department slapped a fine of Rs 25000 on a local resident for chopping down a 100-year-old tree at Sherilingampally Division Corporator's office.

Identified as C Swaroopa, she lives beside the corporator's office in Adarsh Nagar, Serilingampally

Forest officials swung into action after being alerted by Mr. Raju Shetty Kuruma, BJP Serilingampally President. He noticed the felling on February 7 and lodged a complaint with the forest department a day after.


"It is really sad to see the felling of such beautiful peepal and neem trees. These trees used to provide shade to many pedestrians, politicians, locals, and office-goers at Sherilingampally Division Corporator's office" said Raju Shetty.

"Telangana government spends crores of rupees on Harithaharam. But I don't understand the logic behind planting new saplings and chopping down the existing trees. I appreciate the forest department imposing a fine against the violator, but the fine is very small. They should slap a minimum fine of Rs 5 lakh on them for chopping two trees. The violators should also be asked to plant at least 1,000 saplings," he added.

Uday Krishna, Founder of Vata Foundation, told Newsmeter that it is terrible to see such majestic trees being chopped off. "If the tree was suffering from any issue… Was a proper procedure followed to justify pruning?" he asked

" What was the disease? Any pictorial traces? And Rs 25,000 is the fine for trimming down such a huge tree? The wood the branches generated must have been 3-4 times the penalty amount. What is the procedure for calculating penalties? Won't this lead to more people following suit by cutting down branches of huge trees and paying a pittance as penalties?"


Uday said the Supreme Court has established a committee to calculate the value of a tree-based upon how much O2 it generates and its remaining life. "This tree was stripped of all its branches. The branches that would have generated tonnes of O2 every year. It would have lived for many more years. Why not calculate the penalty based on that? Within six months, we are told, branches will grow. Can whoever said that stand guarantee?" he asked.

It is unfortunate that not a single official green champion is opening his mouth. "We have a trend now. Department turns up after tree felling. Then they penalize a pittance and do nothing to ensure the lost green is compensated, "he said.

Vinay Vangala, a social activist from Hyderabad, said: "It is unfortunate we couldn't save the big tree. But forest department officials have levied a penalty on the violator. Many locals and commuters were emotionally attached to the tree. I wish the citizens would approach the administration first for a solution instead of taking the law into their own hands. I appreciate the Forest Department officials for taking action against the violators".

A Srikanth Goud, Forest Section Officer, told Newsmeter they visited the spot after receiving the complaint. "Swaroopa, who lives beside the old municipal office, had to cut the tree as some small branches and leaves were falling inside her house. So she took permission from the TRS corporator who also lives there. He gave the nod to prune the branches. If pruning is not done for a long time, tree branches will grow. The violator immediately paid the fine. We also warned them not to repeat the violation," he said

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