KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday stayed an order by District Collector M G Rajamanickam granting permission to cut down a tree near Durbar Hall Ground.
Justice P B Suresh Kumar issued the interim order when the petition filed by the Lawyers Environment Awareness Forum against illegal felling of trees came up for hearing. The petitioners argued that the Collector issued an order directing the PWD executive engineer to fell a large tree of around 20 metre height and two metre width on Darbar Hall Ground. According to the petitioners, the healthy tree has strong roots and did not pose any threat to the public.
“Trees on public land shall not be felled without permission of the Assistant Conservator of Forests having jurisdiction of the respective area,” submitted the petitioner.
“As per the law, the authority in charge of lands at the disposal of the government where any tree is required to be felled shall submit a written application to the Assistant Conservator of Forests (Social Forestry) having jurisdiction of the area. But, the rule was not followed in the case under consideration,” stated the petitioner.