What to do when you see a tree getting cut

From Rising Citizen

Steps to follow when you see a tree being cut in Whitefield area

Tree Felling in Karnataka is governed by the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976. Section 8 (1) of the act states:

With effect on and from the appointed day, notwithstanding any custom, usage, contract or law for the time being in force, no person shall fell any tree or cause any tree to be felled in any land, whether in his ownership or occupancy or otherwise, except with the previous permission of the Tree Officer.

Thus, whether the tree is in private land or government land, the permission of the Tree Officer is essential before
a tree is cut.

On what grounds can a tree be cut?

As per the act, permission to cut a tree is granted if the tree –

-is dead, diseased or wind-fallen; or -has silviculturally matured; or -constitutes a danger to life or property; or -constitutes obstruction to traffic; or -is substantially damaged or destroyed by fire, lightning, rain or other natural causes

Steps to be taken when you see a tree being cut-

Approach the people cutting the tree and see if they have permission to cut the tree. The permission should be from the Tree Officer, BBMP with the seal of the BBMP and the signature of the Tree Officer. The permission is valid only for 90 days from the date of granting it. An expired permission cannot be used. Ask the people cutting the tree to stop immediately. Tell them that it is illegal to cut a tree without permission and that it constitutes a criminal offence.

If the tree cutting does not stop do the following –

Immediately call the Tree Officers office – For BBMP limits, we have two Tree Officers:

BBMP contact number for Whitefield 080-41407222. This number can be called to report all tree cuts in Whitefield area. Assistant Forest Officer Whitefield Chittibabu9480684815 Person in charge for new tree plantation requests or complaints for Whitefield In addition to the above these are the Central BBMP control room numbers. Note: These are not specific to Whitefield and hence advisable to be used if Whitefield number(s) are not working. 080- 22221188, 080-22975595, 080-22225657

Tree officer North: Covers the following zones – Dasarahalli, East Zone, Mahadevapura, Bytarayanapura. 080- 22485317, 94806 83127, 94806 83013 Address: 2nd floor, BBMP South Zonal Office,2nd Block, 9th cross Jayanagar, BBMP, Bangalore-560011

Tree officer South: Covers the following zones – South, West, Bomannahalli, Raja Rajeshwari Nagar. 080-2657 8423, 94806 83842, 9480684641 Address: Public Utility Building, 17th Floor, M.G. Road, Bangalore-560 001. Inform the Tree Officers Office of what is happening, mention the exact address and the tree being cut. Ask them to send their staff immediately.

Use the BBMP Sahaaya App and file a complaint to BBMP. The app is available in Google play store https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.indigo.pgas_311app Inform station that a tree is being cut without permission- And that since it is a criminal offence under the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, the police should immediately act on the same. If you are not able to reach the Tree Officer or the Police station, call the BBMP Control Room – 080-22221188 / 080-22975595 / 080-22225657 and Inform them of the same. Also, all your local corporator and inform her/him of the same and request action

Take a photo and or/video of the same and share it in social media and to any media people you know. Also submit a complaint to the Tree Officer’s office at the earliest and take an acknowledgment of the complaint.

If you feel the permission has been granted improperly (see above for valid grounds to cut a tree), then immediately call the following office: Chief Conservator of Forests (BBMP) – 080-22975707 and mention the same to them. Ask them to take action immediately and cancel the permission.

If you have all the evidences like photos, videos please file a FIR. This will statutorily stop the tree from being cut till the case is resolved and if proved illegal, the tree is saved.

All about tree felling, transit permissions: Can I cut a tree without permissions, if it is in my own compound? A: No, you cannot. There are permissions to be taken from the Tree Officer. Please read the details, FAQs in the below link to know more. Some are here below

Is it necessary to take permission to cut a tree in my compound? A: Yes, To Control the indiscriminate felling of trees, the Government of Karnataka has enacted “The Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976”. This act has come in to force on 17th day of July, 1976. Under this act, no person shall fell any tree or cause any tree to be felled in any land, whether in his ownership or occupancy or otherwise except with the previous permission of the Tree Officer.

REFER MORE: https://aranya.gov.in/mobile/treeFellPerms.aspx

Exemptions: Karnataka Govt Notification on list of trees exempted from permissions ONLY FOR THE OWNER of the trees.
 

 Reference: 1. What to do when you see a tree being cut http://blogs.citizenmatters.in/deepa-s-jottings/what-to-do-when-you-

see-a-tree-being-cut-by-vinay-sreenivasa-6060

2. Karnataka FD Telephone Directory 2019 https://aranya.gov.in/downloads/Telephone%20Directory%202019.pdf

Exceptions to tree felling permission

Sl No Botanical Name English Local Name Kannada Local Name
1 Casuarina equisitifolia Casuarina Surve
2 Cocus indica Coconut Tengu
3 Erythrina species Erythrina Parivala or Haluvana
4 Eucalyptus species Eucalyptus Nilgiri
5 Glyricidia maculata Glyricidia Gobbarada gida
6 Hopea whitiana Hopea whitiana Bogi
7 Heavea braziliansis Rubber Rubber
8 Prosophis juliflora Prosophis Bellari Jali
9 Sesbenia glandiflora Sesbenia Agase
10 Grewelia robusta Silver Oak Silver
11 Grewelia robusta Sabubal Sabubal
Courtesy of Priya Rajan