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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 19 May 2024 7.44 AM IST

Quotation gangs resume destructive acts: Another shade tree cut down in Palarivattam

kochi

KOCHI: Quotation gangs, fueled by vested interests, are resuming their destructive activities of cutting down shade trees. Last night, a team in a pickup truck stripped all the branches from the Elanji tree located in front of Palarivattam SBI, which had provided shade to autorickshaw drivers and pedestrians. This tree was initially planted by Metro authorities seven years ago along the roadside.

These gangs not only conduct their operations under the cover of darkness but also employ hazardous substances like mercury or other chemicals to expedite the drying process of the trees.

Following this incident, Rinai Medicity Samyuktha Auto Drivers Union lodged a complaint with the Palarivattam Police, as well as officials from KMRL and the Forest Department. Similar incidents have occurred in the city in the past.

Permission to cut trees is typically granted by the Tree Committee of the Forest Department. Officials from the forest department have indicated that the investigation into this case will be turned over to the police.

Previous occurrences of such tree vandalism have been reported. Last year, a similar tree was felled at Edappally toll. Additionally, five shade trees along the national highway were illegally cut in front of the Juma Masjid. Two people were arrested in connection with that incident. These perpetrators often act on behalf of individuals seeking to maintain visibility for their shops, leading to suspicions among auto workers that a similar group may be behind the Palarivattam incident.

When not on duty, I used to sit in the shade of this tree to escape the heat. Cutting of such trees in summer is unacceptable. Strong action is required.

James, Auto driver

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TAGS: CRIME, QUOTATION, GANG, KOCHI, TREE, VANDALISM
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