Citing complaints by landowners, the Kerala Forest department is felling over 1,000 trees on 41,000 hectares in Wayanad
While everywhere afforestation is the buzzword, the Kerala Forest Department has been asked to do the opposite in Wayanad district. The department is on a massive tree felling spree, axing centuries-old Indian rosewood, ‘Veeti’ or ‘Eeti’ in local parlance, in Wayanad Colonisation land assigned to ex-servicemen seven decades ago.
More than 200 rosewood trees, of a total 1,094 identified for the purpose, were felled in a few weeks and the remaining will face the axe soon. Spread over 41,000 hectares in Muppainad, Ambalavayal, Nenmeni, Sulthan Bathery and Noolpuzha grama panchayats in the district, the land under the Wayanad Colonisation Scheme was assigned to soldiers who fought in the Second World War by the British government in 1947.
While the land belongs to the veterans, the valuable rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia) trees and teak, however, are the property of the government as they were reserved and vested with the State government when the title deeds were formally granted to the landholders in 1969.
The State government in 1995 decided to fell the trees. Reason? Owners of the land requested the authorities to fell the dried trees as they were posing a threat to their life and property. The government also decided to provide Rs. 4,500 a cubic metre to the farmers as compensation. Many teak and a few rosewood trees on the colonisation land were felled between 1995 and 2000. The compensation too was hiked to Rs. 10,000 a cubic metre in 2005.....Read more
Source web page:The Hindu