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Mourning massacre of three fully grown old Gulmohar trees in Yadavagiri – Final rites

3 min read

Bhamy V Shenoy

Mysuru: As the world is agonizing about the existential crisis of climate change where trees play a significant role, here in Mysuru three fully grown old Gulmohar trees were massacred in the night of December 13 in Violation of Tree Act.

It is not clear why this illegal act was carried out. Is it to have a better view of Vijay Health Clinic? Or is to facilitate parking on footpath?

The axed Gulmohar trees at Yadavagiri

These are the valuable trees which give life sustaining oxygen. Even an ordinary person learnt this hard fact when during the pandemic people died because of the lack of oxygen.

Way back in 1979, Indian scientist Dr Das had calculated the value of a tree based on environmental benefits and services offered . Based on his work currently value of an old tree is about Rs six crores. An expert committee appointed by the Supreme Court of India had estimated the value of a 100 year old tree to be about Rs 72 lakh. If we accept Das’s estimate which is more credible and accepted even outside India, loss to Mysuru from the massacre of three trees is around Rs. 18 crores! Unbelievable and shocking, but true.

Flowering tree saplings planted after felling Gulmohar trees at Yadavagiri

When the forest department was contacted to take action against the guilty, the officer was annoyed with us ( S K Dinesh and Bhamy Shenoy). He told us that he is too busy to investigate and unless we can tell him who did the felling he cannot act.

Also we need to file a written complaint even after we had sent photos of the felled trees and the exact location. What prevents him from taking suo-motu action?

This is not the first time forest department has been derelict in their duty.

On February 27 of this year a 12 feet diameter 40 year fully grown peepul tree was felled. Several NGOs including MGP held final rites led by Srikanth Koti of Kotivraksha to impress upon the forest department to prosecute those responsible.

However this time, when MGP members (S Shobana and Bhamy Shenoy) met with the recently appointed DCF Kamala Karikalan she assured us that her department will prosecute the guilty party. She told us that they have CCTV proof of who is behind this massacre (Vijaya Health Care) and her department has filed a FIR. They would impose the maximum penalty of Rs 50,000 per tree on the guilty party. However to ensure that the forest department will indeed follow up in the future, forest department staff will act immediately when concerned citizens complain about any illegal activity of felling trees, and also when there is an urgent need to give permission to fell when they endanger buildings or life they will issue permit without a delay, a formal function is organized on Sunday, December 26 at 10.30 AM.

We plan to hold final rites for these trees in a formal way. All interested in the future of our planet are urged to participate in this short ceremony.

There is a silver lining to this tragic story. When DCF Karikulan was requested to plant trees where trees have been felled to prevent the misuse of footpath and also to compensate for the felled trees, she immediately sent her staff to plant four beautiful flowering trees as can be seen below.

For more information call Bhamy V Shenoy, Founder Working President of MGP ( 886 109 6205). S K Dinesh, Convener, Yadavagiri Residents Association ( 98451 10202}.

– Team Mysoorunews 

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