Guest Column: ‘Govt wanted to please timber mafia’

At times when the green cover in the state is shrinking owing to many reasons, the move to amend Karnataka Tree Preservation Act (1976) exempting over 50 species of trees was nothing but a 'foolish' move aimed at pleasing the timber mafia. Even a school going child knows the impact of mindless chopping of trees on how every year the state struggles to cope with drought.

Citing development, the government permits chopping of trees and claims that it will plant more trees. Is that so? Every year the forest department and other bodies boast of planting lakhs and even crores of saplings. Where have all these saplings gone? Corrupt officials just show the numbers on papers and in reality only a meagre percentage of saplings are planted. Further with no proper care, the planted saplings too die or get eaten by stray cows.

Both urban and rural areas are getting exploited at the hands of timber mafia. I would not have bothered to sit on 'fast unto death' protest in front of the politicians' house demanding the withdrawal of the amendment. In future too, my fight against such cruel amendments and conserving and fighting for the environment will continue.

Saalumarada Thimmakka Green crusader

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