Dozens of Tree Illegaly Cut Down in Surajpur wetland forest area

Saurabh Kumar

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Greater Noida (21/12/2018 : A serious violation of Indian Forests Act, 1927 had took place under the reserve forest area of Surajpur wetland in Greater Noida on Thursday morning where around 26 trees were found cut.

The illegal cutting of trees was done for constructing a road by Rural Engineering Services (RES), a government department that was allegedly unaware that the road was passing through a reserve forest, officials of the forest department said.

The ‘illegal’ act came to light after local villagers and some activist informed environmental who latter alerted the forest department. There after forest officials reached the spot and stopped the illegal cutting. The officials said that 26 keekar trees were found to have been cut to make a road to reach a temple nearby. The road being made was about 600 metres long and about 150 metres of the entire stretch was falling in the reserve forest area. But no permission was taken earlier for cutting of trees in the area.

Forest officials said that the road was authorised by the RES under the District Rural Development Authority (DRDA). A complaint has been filed under section 26 of the Indian Forests Act, 1927, against the contractor who was allotted the tender for construction of the road.

Activists, however, said that the department was trying to protect the responsible agencies by diluting the charges. They said that if the forest department did not file a serious complaint, they would be sending a legal notice in the matter.

According to the Indian Forests Act, 1927, the accused would face a penalty of Rs 1,000 or six months’ imprisonment. Activists said that several other charges can be added to the complaint under Forest (Conservation) Act and Wetland Rules.

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