Opposing the move of the Forest Department to seize the trees which collapsed during the floods, farmers and flood victims staged a protest under the aegis of Prakruthi Vikopa Santrasthara Horata Samithi, in front of Aranya Bhavan, in Madikeri on Monday.
The protestors meanwhile urged the Forest Department to give permission to the villagers to sell the timber lying in their land.
Samiti president M B Devaiah said that several trees were uprooted during the floods and landslides that hit Kodagu in August. The plantation owners should be allowed to transport the timber, he said and urged the Forest Department to not obstruct the landowners from selling the timber.
Even though a memorandum has been submitted to the deputy commissioner and the chief minister, the problem is not solved. If the problem still persists after the protests, the fight will be intensified, he said.
Member Ravi Kushalappa said that there is a serious problem of silt in rivers and fields in Kaluru, Galibeedu, Madenadu, Hebbettageri and Sampaje.
The officials should conduct a survey in the farmers’ land. The right to sell the timber should be given to the owners of the trees, he added.
Leader Pullera Kalappa demanded compensation for the farmers who have incurred losses due to the flood.
DFO Manjunath said that the villagers may apply to the Forest Department along with the details of the trees and the land. Permission to sell the timber directly cannot be given as per the regulations, he added.
Committee members A T Madappa, Arvind and K T Prasanna took part in the protest among others.