Press Esc to close
Thursday 30 October 2014
News updated at 10:37 PM IST
Weather
Max: 0°C
Min : 0°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

Doom staring dhoop trees in Dakshina Kannada

Last updated: 04 March, 2011
Akshatha M, Mangalore, March 4, DHNS :

Resin extraction contracts place the trees at risk

Halmaddi or dhoop trees (Ailanthus malabaricum) in Dakshina Kannada, the tall, palm-like cylindrical trees that yield the resin that is used in religious functions as dhoop, and in the incense stick and perfume industry, are threatened with extinction with the Forest Department deciding to lease them.

Tapping of Halmaddi tree done in violation of the prescribed method, o n one of the plots in Mundaje of Belthangady taluk. dh Photo / Akshatha M As many as 52,547 Halmaddi trees trees in the Mangalore Forest Division, in an area of 5,000 hectares have been leased out. At an auction held in the Range Forest Office in the city on February 7 and 10, the Department leased 27 out of 34 units of Halmaddi plots to the big time traders.

The widespread destruction of Halmaddi trees by illegal traders with the Forest department’s backing in Uttara Kannada three decades ago, had led to an outcry among environmentalists, resulting in the enforcement of ban on leasing Halmaddi trees in parts of the district.

Halmaddi is a natural, grey semi-liquid resin exuded by trees that belong to the Champa group. Dried resin is hygroscopic which means it absorbs moisture from the air. This can cause champa incenses to have a wet feeling to them. Nag Champa is probably the most famous incense of the champa group. Because of overextraction, the trees have been put on the red list by many research organisations.

Lessees violating rule

But the Mangalore Forest Division has leased out the trees in region for two years commencing from March 1, 2011 to February 28, 2013. Even before the work order was handed over to the lessees, many of them have started to extract resin from the trees in clear violation of rules.


Lessees were expected to get the work orders from the Department before February 28, but the High Court issued a stay on the process on a writ petition from LAMPS, an NGO in Puttur. Paying no heed to the stay order, some of the lessees began extracting resin on their plots, violating the set norms again.

Although the High Court vacated the stay on February 28, work orders are yet to be issued. This correspondent, who visited the plots in Balpa of Sullia taluk and Mundaje of Belthangady taluk, found workers extracting the resin from the tree.

Lying on the plot

The fresh resin was flowing from the tree and resin containers were found lying on the plot.

Despite the Forest Department banning tapping of trees with girth less than 91.5 cm, lessees were found violating the rule.

The red mark made by the Department on certain trees to identify them as ‘not to be tapped,’ has also been breached by the lessees who have started extracting resin even from the young trees.

Non systematic way

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Parisara Samrakshana Kendra, Sirsi, Project Co-ordinator Mahabaleshwara Hegde who has been fighting against Halmaddi tapping in Uttara Kannada district said, the improper method adopted while tapping the trees would lead to the quick death of the tree. “Halmaddi tree which has the capacity to yield continuously for 10 years if used properly, will perish within five years due to improper method of tapping,” he said.

Timber Sales Superintendent of the Forest Department P K Narayan said the Department has tendered the trees on a trial basis. “If the trees are not damaged by the lessees, then we would call for another tender after two years, or else we would look for other alternatives”, he said, adding that the department has given the plantation on lease to avoid illegal tapping of Halmaddi.

According to sources, LAMPS Co-operative Society is yet again preparing to file a writ against the tender, while another group is all set to file Public Interest Litigation to stop the tender.

Grey-white stuff sells in black


A Halmaddi tree which takes 20-25 years to grow completely and reach the stage where resin can be extracted from it. The tree yields on an average a kg of resin per year.

Though the current market rate for purified resin is Rs 500, it is sold at a very high rate in the black market. The resin is used for the making of Agarbatthi, perfumes and paints.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Security personnel patrol a street after a protest by the supporters of Jammu and Kashmir...

Security personnel patrol a street after a protest by the supporters of Jammu and Kashmir...

India A players Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey during a practice match against Sri Lanka...

India A players Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey during a practice match against Sri Lanka...

Indian Air Force officers arrive at the Gateway of India after swimming for a distance...

Indian Air Force officers arrive at the Gateway of India after swimming for a distance...

The Navy hovercraft carrying West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to Sagar Island...

The Navy hovercraft carrying West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to Sagar Island...

A Rajasthani herder with his cows in Gurgaon...

A Rajasthani herder with his cows in Gurgaon...

Devotees wait for the Sun to offer prayers, during Chhath Puja festival in Agra...

Devotees wait for the Sun to offer prayers, during Chhath Puja festival in Agra...

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture on Black Money with a message...

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture on Black Money with a message...

BJP workers arrange the cut-outs of party symbol (lotus) to decorate the boats at the Marine...

BJP workers arrange the cut-outs of party symbol (lotus) to decorate the boats at the Marine...

A police man investigates the tunnel dug up by the robbers in Gohana bank heist, in Sonipat...

A police man investigates the tunnel dug up by the robbers in Gohana bank heist, in Sonipat...

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan sweeps in a stree during a cleanliness drive as a part...

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan sweeps in a stree during a cleanliness drive as a part...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523