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Besu in green row

Two police complaints have been filed against the Besu authorities for alleged landfill and chopping of trees in violation of rules.

The complaints have been filed by environment activist Subhas Datta and Bengal Engineering and Science University Teachers’ Association (Besuta). An officer of Shibpur police station told Metro an inquiry had been started.

“Around 100 big and small trees across 10 acres have been illegally felled. Besides, a large tract of marshy land has been filled up in violation of rules. Apart from maintaining the ecology, the marshy land and the trees formed a habitat for animals like jackals, civets and mongooses,” said Datta, who visited the site during the day with representatives of the teachers’ association and met vice-chancellor Ajay Ray.

“Every institution or individual must take the forest department’s consent before cutting a tree. The Besu authorities have not done so,” Datta said.

Association leaders said the registrar had unilaterally decided to get the trees felled and the marshy tract filled up.

“According to the law, the registrar is the custodian of the university property but he cannot take any decision alone. He should have discussed the issue at a meeting of the planning and monitoring committee,” said Apurba Kishore Dutta, the president of the teachers’ association.

Registrar Biman Bandopadhyay, however, denied the allegation of landfill. “The question of landfill does not arise as the land concerned is not a water body. It is a low land where water accumulates during the monsoon,” he said.

On the issue of felling trees, he said: “Trees are trimmed and bushes cleared every now and then as part of our clean-up drive.”