BENGALURU: The Bangalore University has lost more than 20 sandalwood trees at its Jnana Bharathi campus in the city in the last month and a half.
Though complaints were lodged with the Jnana Bharathi police, sandalwood smugglers continue to enter the campus and cut trees. On Monday, late in the night, eight trees were chopped.
The Bio Park area on the campus, situated behind the Environmental Science department and adjacent to Sports Authority of India (SAI), is surrounded by trees, especially sandalwood trees. Though the campus is closed to public after 9pm, smugglers have managed to enter from the Nayandahalli side.
Speaking to Express, Prof K N Ningegowda, Registrar-administration, said, “We came to know about the incident through our security guards and filed an FIR with the Jnana Bharathi police immediately. In the last one and a half months, this is the third time such an incident has taken place.”
According to BU authorities, the miscreants use battery-operated wood cutting machines that are noiseless.
“Had they used the regular loud wood cutters, our security guards would have caught them,” said Ningegowda.
University authorities are yet to estimate the worth of the trees that have been cut. The trees that are chopped are often left behind, waiting for the bark to dry and then they carry them off as it is easier.
BU officials suspect that habitual offenders are behind the crime. As the size of the trees is just 5 inches at the base/bottom, they can get 4-6 feet of sandal by cutting those trees. “People use such wood to make toys and we suspect their role in it. We have also informed police about it,” said a senior official of BU.