IISc-Bangalore faces probe over loss of green cover on campus

It all started with a complaint from locals who noticed trees being cut in the campus and being transported in a truck from Yeshwanthpur exit gate.  

Published: 26th May 2022 05:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th May 2022 05:17 AM   |  A+A-

The area inside IISc campus where trees have been axed

Express News Service

BENGALURU: India’s reputed research organisation Indian Institute of Science (IISc), known for its achievements and accolades, is in the news for the wrong reasons this time.  It has been served a notice by the Karnataka forest department over reports of loss of green cover and transportation of logs from its campus. Taking serious note of a series of events occurring on the IISc campus, the forest department has pulled up the ace institute for cutting trees allegedly without permission.  It all started with a complaint from locals who noticed trees being cut in the campus and being transported in a truck from Yeshwanthpur exit gate.  

Truck carrying logs from IISc seized

By the time the forest officials reached the location, the truck was out of the campus. “We seized the truck and inquired from the driver as to what the matter was all about. He admitted to have brought the logs from inside IISc campus. Top officials from the institute however told us that they were not aware of it and put the blame on the security personnel. We have initiated a detailed inquiry into the matter,” S S Ravishankar, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Bengaluru Urban, said.

Some trees were axed during the second week of May. However, preliminary investigations have revealed that many more trees have been cut earlier to make way for a hostel, hospital and a medical science institute. “We have seen tree stumps packed with construction debris being taken out of the campus.

When we inquired, we were told that the branches have been pruned, but that is not correct as Google Maps also show a change in land use. Last time when a similar complaint was filed, IISc was let off with a warning. But now it cannot be accepted as the internationally reputed organisation has axed trees without permission,” said an investigating officer.

Kaushal Verma, Associate Professor, Mathematics Department and Chair, Office of Communications said: “Construction of a 1,000-room boys’ hostel is going on by utilising the footprint of existing old buildings. We understand that during the demolition of the old buildings, a few tree branches adjacent to these buildings got affected and the agency was trying to shift these branches from the site along with some dead wood. Care is being taken during the construction stage and should the need arise to relocate any tree, IISc is taking the necessary steps to ensure that this is done with the help of best technologies/procedures available.”



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