Angry over the attempted felling of a living 40-year-old tree in Indiranagar, residents of the area lodged a complaint against three persons, at Indiranagar police station on Sunday.
The complaint has been filed against an attendant of the area corporator, a BBMP waterman, and the forest conservator under sections of the Karnataka Preservation of Tree Act 1976 and Wildlife Protection Act 1972 for destroying parrot nests in the tree.
Sneha Nandihal, the president of the Indiranagar 1st Stage residentâ€™s welfare association, told The News Minute that the African tulip tree on the first cross of Indiranagar 1st stage was alive and was home to hundreds of parakeets. â€śWe could only save half of the tree. They had cut the side that was facing the road,â€ťsaid Sneha.
She said that the officials kept passing the buck when she called to enquire about felling of this tree.
â€śI called the water man of BBMP, Devraj. He told me that they were cutting it down on the corporatorâ€™s order. I was stumped because it is common sense that the corporator has no authority to check or confirm whether a tree is dead or alive. Just because he saw a leafless tree does not mean the tree was dead,â€ť Sneha said.
â€śOne of the workers from the forest department alleged that it was the corporatorâ€™s helper Abbili who had asked them to cut this tree off,â€ť she said.
Photograph of the tree from a few months ago taken by Gandharv who resides in one of the houses near the tree. A parakeet is seen on one of the branches.
Sathyanarayana, the assistant conservator of forests, BBMP, told Sneha that they had no certificate or permission from the forest department to prove that it was dead tree, she added.
The corporator allegedly refused to meet the members of the welfare association when they approached him.
Sneha alleged that the police inspector refused to accept her complaint on Thursday and even called her â€śa nuisanceâ€ť.
Parakeet on one of the walls next to the tree. PC: Gandharv
â€śOn Sunday, along with 15 other representatives, I went to the police station and they could not refuse our complaint,â€ť she said.
Abbili, one of the accused, told The News Minute that they decided to cut down the tree because one of its branches was falling onto electricity wires and they were afraid that it might cause accidents.
â€śWe were doing rounds on March 31 morning and we realised that one part of the tree, which was barren, was falling. I was to call the forest department, but the branch had almost entirely broken off and could have fallen on a passerbyâ€™s head. So we decided to take action because we were scared that it would be too late by the time we got permission from forest department.â€ť
Gandharv whose house is next to the tree said that it was home to hundreds of parakeets and that there was nothing wrong with the tree.
Sneha refuted Abbili's claims and said that there were no electricity wires running under the tree branches, because the association had bunched these wires to ensure that they did not do so.
â€śThey must have been wires for cable TV or the internet,â€ť she said.