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Since 1st March, 1999
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Chopped at saviour door

Yet another tree has been felled in Salt Lake, but this time the perpetrator cannot get away by saying he has taken all the necessary permissions. For, the complainant is the man without whose permission no tree in the township can be trimmed or chopped.

Majhedar Rahman, the divisional forest officer (utilisation), protested in vain last week while a rare mahogany tree and a mango tree next to his BC 248 residence were ravaged.

Rahman lodged a complaint with the Bidhannagar (North) police station through the forest department but the cops refused to act, he alleged.

“The law states that offenders can face a penalty of up to two years in jail and a fine of Rs 5,000 for cutting trees without permission, but how will the guilty be brought to book if the police do not even lift a finger to the stop the felling?” demanded Rahman.

“Who told you that we cannot take action? Ask the complainant to contact me,” D.P. Pan, the officer-in-charge of Bidhannagar (North) police station, told Metro on Wednesday evening.

The alleged offender, a private security agency, could not be contacted about the mahogany tree being felled (for which special permission is required) and the mango tree being denuded.

“My wife noticed the chopping of a mahogany and a mango tree next to our house on January 3. I then sent our officers for an inquiry and they subsequently lodged an FIR with the local police station on January 5,” said Rahman.

Aniruddha Choudhury, the range officer (forest utilisation), wrote in the FIR: “... I went to the spot... and found two trees namely mahogany and mango chopped off by the authority of the said company without any permission”.

The police arrived at the spot, photographed the trees and left without taking action, alleged Rahman.

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