Case against contractor, PWD officials for felling trees

The Forest Department has registered a case against a contractor and Public Works Department officials for felling nearly 50 huge trees under the cover of road widening works of the Udumbanchola-Rajakkad road.

According to Devikulam range officer Arun Maharaj, the PWD contractor had sought permission to fell 21 trees for road widening on the CHR (Cardamom Hill Reserve) stretch. The request was sent to the higher-ups in Thiruvananthapuram as special sanction was required.

Meanwhile, the contractor also sent a letter to the District Collector seeking permission to fell ten huge trees under the Disaster Management Act.

The District Collector directed Devikulam Tahsildar Niju Kurien to inquire and give a report. The Tahsildar made a spot visit and recommended cutting of six trees that posed threat to the public.

Meanwhile, 50 huge trees in the area were felled by the contractor, according to forest officials.

A revenue official said the trees had been felled under the cover of road widening works. There was no need to cut a large number of trees in the area, he said.

Mr. Maharaj said trees had been felled in violation of the CHR Act and the department had registered a case against the contractor and officials of the PWD.

The PWD officials informed the Collector that they had filed a complaint against the road contractor for illegally felling trees.

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