Eighteen teak trees, worth several lakhs, were chopped and taken away by some unidentified persons in Kattumannarkoil town recently.
While 10 of these trees had already been uprooted in Cyclone Thane, the rest were felled. It is learnt that these trees had been planted on 72 cents of land behind the Kattumannarkoil Panchayat Union (PU) office building under the Social Forestry Scheme in 1992.
Recently, when K T Balamanikandan, a Panchayat Union member of Ward 2 in the district, noticed that the trees had been cut and removed by some labourers, he had raised the issue in the Panchayat Union meeting on Tuesday.
Balamanikandan said, “A total of 18 teak trees were cut and taken away. Of the 18, only 10 trees were uprooted by the cyclone and rest felled. These trees are about 20 years old and could be worth several lakhs. When I took it up with the BDO Jothi, he said he was not aware of the trees having been felled. Then, I raised the issue in the meeting.”
It may be recalled that former minister MRK Paneer Selvam spoke about this issue while protesting against the petrol price hike in Cuddalore recently and urged authorities to take action against those involved.
On Friday, members of the Revolutionary Socialist Party pasted posters across Kattumannarkoil town seeking stringent action against those involved.
Local residents wondered why a police complaint had not been registered over the incident.