Hyderabad: The Forest department here on Monday stopped the Bhavan’s Cricket Academy (part of the Bhavan’s Sri RamaKrishna Vidyalaya) at Sainipuri from chopping down trees after the institution cut down a few on May 22. Government officials said that they would levy a fine on the institution for illegally cutting two trees, without any permission, for construction purposes.
“The tree must have been around 60-70 years old. I am unsure about the exact age but I am certain that it is older than any of the people who tried to cut it,” remarks Medha, an NGO worker by profession and a resident of the area close to the Bhavan’s Sri RamaKrishna Vidyalaya in Sainikpuri.
The distance between her residence and the school is negligible as she can notice the school grounds’ from her terrace, added Medha. The issue came to light on Sunday, when she watched from her terrace as a group of people started chopping down the trees present on the campus premises.
“I was shaken up for a good few minutes after the tree was chopped down,” added Medha.
Soon after the illegal chopping started, Medha reached out to the Forest department and cops from the Neredmet police station for to stop it. The police were able to aid to an extent but Medha stated that the work stopped when she started to take photos.
“The men clearly told me that they had the permission of the school. When asked if they had the forest department’s permission, they answered that they did but the reply felt somewhat dubious,” she added.
On Monday, Ravi, a deputy range officer from the forest department turned up to probe into the matter.
Speaking to Siasat.com, Ravi said, “They have chopped one large and one smaller tree. The measurements for them have been taken and once the calculation is done, the school will have to pay the fine. The fine imposed will be as per the Telangana state forest act of 1967.”
Ravi further added that irrespective of where trees are cut in the state (including one’s own residence), permission from the forest department was imperative.
As per Medha and the forest officer’s testimony, the trees at Bhavan’s Sri RamaKrishna Vidyalaya were silenced to make way for a larger cricket ground.