'DCF auctioned trees illegally'

'DCF auctioned trees illegally'

In a letter to BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah, the Hasiru Usiru activists and others have alleged that Puttaswamy abused his powers by ordering the felling of 19 trees along Sankey Road ‘without conforming to any law or procedure as laid down in the Karnataka Tree Preservation Act, the Karnataka State Forest Act, the Karnataka Forest Manual and the Karnataka State Transparency Act, among others, and is thus guilty of corruption’.

They said the residents were opposed to the widening of the Sankey Road as it lacked any rationale justifying the huge public expenditure. Also, the owners of many private properties involved in the project have not received any notice for acquisition of their properties.

Further, the complainants stated that Vinay Sreenivasa, a volunteer of Hasiru Usiru, had also appealed to the Tree Authority on June 29 against the permission given for felling the trees.

The DCF’s decision to auction the trees was against law as the appeal was still pending inquiry by the authority.

On the evening of June 30, some activists received information that Puttaswamy was likely to initiate tree felling in the night. Vinay Sreenivasa, volunteer of Hasiru Usiru contacted Puttaswamy on the latter's cellphone (9480684641) to confirm auctioning of the tree felling.  

Puttaswamy admitted that he had indeed auctioned the trees, but refused to clarify how he undertook an exercise that had been abandoned the previous day and was in violation of the High Court directive.