Indore: The protectors of forests are the choppers ensuring that trees do not even get a place on the forest department office campuses now! In an incident reported from the Depalpur forest campus, it was found that a forest guard was actually chopping off trees. The number of trees chopped off cannot even be estimated now, since the department officials were involved in the chopping.
The forest guard, named Suraj Singh Bhurana, was found heading the racket and was rusticated by the chief conservator of forests, Indore division, HS Mohanta on Monday. The forest department, which is expected to protect trees and forests, is busy chopping down the last trees on its campus. Legal activist Abhijeet Pandey brought the incident to light by raising the issue with Mohanta.
This seems like a trend since, last year, such an incident was reported from the Indore division office. Forest department officials had not only chopped off trees on the campus in October 2020, but they had also made the situation worse as they did not even bat an eyelid while setting fire to the remains of the only black bamboo tree in the city.
Sharing the details of the incident, Pandey said, “It’s shameful and sad to see that the protectors of forests are the ones who have been chopping down trees, which maintain the balance in our environment that is so necessary for our survival. Ensuring that nothing remains, the officials set fire to the tree and cleared the surroundings,” Pandey said. The reasons often put forward by the forest officials to justify chopping off trees are simple—like “Trees block sunlight.”
In another recent incident, forest officials had admitted that, due to the negligence of forest workers, the forest has been damaged continuously for months now. In this case, action has been taken against forest workers for illegal logging. The incident concerned illegal felling that had come to light in different forest areas where a large number of teak and shisham trees were chopped off. Along with this, girdling has been planted, which has damaged many trees.
‘Lico classic choice for refined woodcarvings’
"In the recent incident in Depalpur, the guard had chopped off Tilia cordata, more commonly known as Lico trees. Tilia cordata, the small-leaved lime or small-leaved linden, is a species of trees in the family Malvaceae. The white, finely-grained wood is not a structurally strong material, but a classic choice for refined woodcarvings, such as those by Grinling Gibbons for medieval altarpieces, like the Altar of Veit Stoss. The wood of Lico trees was the prime choice for carvings in churches and is also commonly used for lightweight projects, such as carved spoons, light furniture, bee hives and honeycomb frames," said HS Mohanta, chief conservator of forests, Indore division.
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