Forest department fells four trees for idol installation

Demand of Social Welfare department, say officers as citizens show ire

On the eve of the day remembering a great sage risen from the jungles the town saw staff members of a government department meant to protect flora ending up cutting down trees.

The reason: Installation of a podium for the Valmiki Jayanthi celebrations on Monday and an idol of the sage.

Four trees that had stood tall giving shade for several years were brought down suddenly by the Forest Department staff on Sunday, much to the shock and disappointment of citizens in the town, especially the environmentalists.

“The area, known as Court Circle, was renamed last year after Maharshi Valmiki. It was also decided to install an idol of the sage on a mantap. But we had never imagined that the idea would cost us four trees. Now, the Circle has a hot, sunny feel, in contrast to the shade and cool of decades,” said Mahesh, a college student, with disappointment.

“The place would be all the more attractive if the idol was installed with the mantap without taking such a rash step. Cutting the trees was truly unnecessary,” he added.

Nagesh, the district forest officer, told Deccan Herald, “The Social Welfare Department officers had requested us to cut the trees to get space for the installation of the idol and podium. So, the department staff cut two tamarind trees and two trees of other varieties.”

He added that the officials concerned have assured that saplings will be planted around the idol and podium after the installation.

The timber of the four trees has been auctioned, he said.

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