Translocation does not amount to felling trees: MoEF

A tree officer is entitled to collect deposits before giving permission to cut trees, towards the expenditure incurred for planting, raising and maintaining the trees. dh file photo

Drawing curtains on the controversy surrounding translocation of trees, the Centre has clarified that translocation of trees does not amount to ‘felling’.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has communicated to all the states that ‘successful translocation of trees should not be treated as felling of trees.’ However, the ministry has ordered that in case of any failure, the user agency has to pay compensation in terms of planting of trees in lieu of each of the trees felled.

The decision is seen as a shot in the arm to further popularise the concept of translocation of trees.

The Forest Conservation division of MoEF&CC sent a clarification to all the states last week that translocation of trees does not amount to felling. According to the communiqué by the MoEFF&CC to the Forest department, states have been told not to consider translocation as felling.

“MoEF&CC is of the view that successful translocation of trees should not be treated as felling of trees, provided the tree is translocated on a land as suggested by the Forest department. In case of any unsuccessful translocation, compensation in terms of planting of trees in lieu of each such tree felled will be provided at the cost of the user agency, as per the provisions of the concerned Act,” the circular said.  

Noting that various forest circles across Karnataka are charging different amounts as deposits to fund planting and maintenance, in lieu of permission given to cut trees, the Forest department has brought in uniform rates across the state.

A tree officer is entitled to collect deposits before giving permission to cut trees, towards planting, raising and maintaining a plantation.

“As different forest circles were collecting varying charges, a uniform rate has been approved retrospectively from 2017 and will be applicable till March 2019. For each of the seedling measuring 5X8 inches, the cost of planting and maintenance will be Rs 70 per plant and for seedling measuring 8X12 inches, the cost will be Rs 200 per plant,” the order stated.

A copy of the government order is attached below:

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Translocation does not amount to felling trees: MoEF

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