BENGALURU: To prevent illegal felling of trees, ensure afforestation and increase tree cover, forest, environment and ecology minister Eshwar B Khandre on Saturday directed the officials to geo-tag trees in the state, especially ones with high value like sandalwood, rose and teak.
He said that the exercise should be completed within three months in all the areas under the control of the Karnataka Forest Department, adjoining villages, revenue lands and other government lands. He directed the forest department officials that the department maintain records of the trees beat-wise and village-wise. He also said that a report of the same, zone-wise, should be submitted to him, within the stipulated time.
The decision has also been taken after hundreds of trees have been axed illegally in Belur, Nandagodanahalli, Sakleshpur and Idagundi. “To control deforestation in the name of various activities like growing ginger, this decision has been taken. The DCs have also been instructed to ensure that the trees are geo-tagged. It has also been decided that anti-poaching teams will be deployed to prevent timber illegal felling and smuggling of timber.
Conservation of valuable trees in forests in government land, estates and patta lands leased by the forest department is a challenge for the department. Trees cannot be axed without prior permission as per the Tree Protection Act,” he said.