Greetings to all,

Environment Support Group set up the Tree Helpline to guide the people of Bangalore on how to save the trees of the city themselves by interacting and engaging with the concerned authorities and the lawbreakers. ESG documented all the calls and mails it received, the complaints included reports of illegal and rampant tree felling, indiscriminate pruning of branches, enquiries on tree saplings and tree guards; and also requests of getting a tree cut because of threat to life and property. ESG has thus been in touch with the Karnataka Forest Dept. and the media, and has informed them of all developments.

On 21st October the Cases recorded by ESG on its helpline were submitted to the Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF / DFO), Bangalore Urban, Mr. B. M. Parameshwara. The minutes of the meeting is attached with this mail. We are in constant touch with the DFO’s office and the Range Forest Officer, Malleshwaram, Mr. Jeelani Pasha, who is taking action on the complaints. This mail is delayed as we were waiting for the acknowledgement to our letter addressed to the DFO briefing the minutes of the meeting between ESG and the DFO.

ESG is optimistic after our meeting with the DFO. At the same time we are anguished on reading the incident reported in the Deccan Herald, page no.1 dated 1st November, where the Forest dept.’s lack of timely response resulted in the death of a magnificent tree, this in spite of their commitment to ESG on responding immediately to such urgent calls with appropriate action. ESG spoke to the RFO, Mr. Jilani Pasha on 3rd November on this case. He said he was out of office and did not get the information when the incident was reported. Further, he said that a case (No. RFOTU 21/03-04) was booked against the culprits on 1st November.

We encourage you to submit written complaints to the DFO, Bangalore Urban expressing your concern on the aforementioned lapse. Please do send us copy of your communication with the DFO. All must remember that after the High court directions and the subsequent Govt Order brought out by the DFO’s office, it is punishable by law (fine or imprisonment or both) if any tree is cut in Bangalore without a permission from the DFO whether on public or private land in cases inevitable and that after the permission is sought two tree saplings have to be planted before cutting any tree. Also we need to be careful on what tree saplings are planted.

For feedback on the ESG-DFO meeting or problems with the Forest Dept's response to your calls, please get in touch with ESG at 6534363 or mail us at esg@bgl.vsnl.net.in.

ESG requests you to remain vigilant and make our authorities responsible and accountable in cases pertaining to their jurisdiction. ESG believes that our initiative will work well only with people's participation, active involvement and initiative to take individual responsibility. We encourage people to come forward and be part of ESG’s initiative by interacting and engaging in constructive dialogue with the forest department on your various concerns.