VILLUPURAM: The Revenue officials are planning to penalise the Municipality authorities for cutting down trees for setting up ‘Amma Unavagam’ here without permission.
Sources said the Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had, on June 1, announced the opening of 360 more ‘Amma Unavagams’ across the State.
Based on that, the Villupuram district administration planned to set up canteens in Villupuram, Tindivanam and Kallakuruchi.
The Municipality Commissioners of the respective towns held a meeting with the Collector regarding this and the locations were selected for the canteens.
Sources said that when the work began in Villupuram, the Municipality officials axed the trees behind the Municipality office, where the canteen is to be set up, without seeking permission of the Forest and Revenue Departments.
The Revenue Department received several complaints regarding this. Nature lovers in Villupuram town said that they had submitted many petitions to renovate the park in the area. But, the officials went and felled the trees there as well in spite of the government asking the people to safeguard the trees for the future.
Sources further said that the trees were later sold without calling for a tender, which should be the actual procedure. “As the officials were in a hurry to set up the ‘Amma Unavagams’, they forgot all the rules and procedures to be followed,” the source added.
Following the complaints, regional divisional officer Anushyadevi visited the site on Saturday and inquired about the work and the trees chopped down. Source said the Revenue Department had decided to collect a penalty from the Municipality officials for felling the trees without proper permission. Nature lovers said that the officials could have set up the canteen near the Villupuram old bus-stand.