How to proactively protect trees against felling

Some info on what to do:

 

 
Trees on public and private land are protected by the Karnataka Tree Preservation Act , accessible here- click here

If you feel trees in your area are under threat, please call the tree officer responsible fr Bangalore South, Mr.Chaudhary and report them.

94806 83842, 2657 8423
Office – in the BBMP southern zone office, Jayanagar 2nd block, close to Ashoka pillar.

and at any point of time if you see someone cutting a tree, please see below for what can be done

Steps
Approach the contractor/workers cutting the tree. Ask them if they have the approval of tree officer, BBMP for cutting the tree.
If they dont have the order,ask them to stop. Tell the that they are not authorised to cut trees and that they can be arrested for cutting trees without required permission.

Please call the relevant tree officer.( Details in latter half of mail.)Tell them the details – what’s happening and where. Ask her/him to come immediately and get the work stopped. If tree officer does not answer her/his phone, call their office number. If you dont get through to that, call the cops from the police station under whose jurisdiction the said road is located. Alert local residents and try and gather support (this could be counter-productive sometimes, they may want the tree to be cut) . And yes, pls take pics of the trees being cut.

If they have the order:
Please have a look at the order and see what it says.
Does it have a BBMP seal? Does the order explicitly state that the full tree needs to be cut? Is it signed by the tree officer? Note – some times the tree officers permit the branches to be cut, but people use that to cut the whole tree. If permission is granted only for cutting branches, only branches can be cut, not the trunk. In case they have what appears to be a order, but the order looks fishy/incomplete, call the tree officer on cellphone/landline and inquire if permission has been granted.
In case they do have the order to cut trees and it looks like they have been granted permission, just double-check with the tree officer anyway. Call the tree officer on cell-phone/landline and speak to her/him confirming if an order has been passed to cut the trees in that location.
If they have the order and it looks like its genuine and the order allows felling of trees.

If at the end you realise that the tree officer has granted permission to cut the trees, there is not much you can do at that moment to stop it.

Ask the tree officer if trees are being replanted in the same area, to compensate for the trees being cut. If trees are not being replanted in the same area, thats a violation of the act.

Later, you can also file an appeal with the tree authority, BBMP against the
tree officer’s order.
Tree Officer Contact Details
Tree officer North (Zones – North, East, Mahadevpura, Bytarayanapura)
Suresh – 9845174447, 22485317
His office is in the BBMP main office, hudson circle.
Tree officer South (Zones – South, West, Bomannahalli, Raja Rajeshwari Nagar)
Venkateshappa – 94806 83842, 2657 8423
Office – in the BBMP southern zone office, Jayanagar 2nd block, close to Ashoka pillar.

 

Deepa Mohan
About Deepa Mohan 710 Articles
Deepa Mohan is a freelance writer and avid naturalist.

2 Comments

  1. my experience in August 2010

    Called the tree officer and got it stopped (for the day). a few days later all trees were cut on the basis of a permission letter.

    lessons i learnt post facto ( the trees were cut on a day after I had left home for the day)
    1. letter did not have a seal or a number, only a date with a signature.
    2. letter is in Kannada. (i can read, though)
    3. more trees were cut than permitted
    4.letter explicitly mentmioned ficus trees could not be cut witout permission from higher authorities, but they still cut two of them

    couldn’t help feeling that i had perhaps served to give manipulatable information to the authorities rather than preventing trees from being cut. who do you appeal to when it is done while I am out of the house on the basis of a letter like that? who has to monitor that it was done as per permission? it was quite clear that nobody (intended) monitored that.

    the reason given was that it was unsafe for the neighbour as they went up to the balconies of his newly built house (he cut down a total of five 10 plus year old trees back and front). later i was told that ‘vastu’ did not support having these particular trees to the South of his house! but having said that,
    he has replanted 4 (vastu perfect!) honges and one neem in their place and they are growing up.

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