Environment Support Group ®
S-3, Rajashree Apartments, 18/57, 1st Main Road, S. R. K. Gardens,
Jayanagar, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore 560041. INDIA
Telefax: 91-80-6341977/6534364.
Email: esg@bgl.vsnl.net.in Website: http://www.altindia.net/esg/index.htm

Deputy Conservator of Forests
Bangalore Urban
Aranya Bhavan,
18th cross, Malleshwaram,
Bangalore 560003

29th October 2003

Reg: Minutes of meeting on 21st Oct 2003.

Dear Mr. Parameshwara,

We thank you for giving us a patient hearing on the tree felling complaints recorded by us. The minutes of our meeting on the 21st October 2003 is enclosed for your perusal.

We hope to work together in the larger interest of the public to stop rampant and illegal tree felling in Bangalore.

Looking forward to your extended cooperation.

Thanking You.

Yours sincerely,

Ms. Deepashree
Research Assistant
Environment Support Group

Encl: As above

Minutes of meeting – Oct 21 2003

1. When ESG handed over its documented Case Files, Mr. Parameshwara , DFO Bangalore Urban, observed that his office should be informed immediately on sighting illegal tree felling/pruning or even when there is a suspicion that tree(s) will be cut. He assured immediate action on such complaints. At this point ESG told him that it guides all complainants to lodge their complaints with his office and the RFO’s office. ESG expressed serious concern on the many instances where complainant’s calls have been transferred to and fro between his office and the Range Forest Officer’s office (Tree unit Squad number). In a measure to eliminate this inconvenience, he directed Sumana and Jagdish of his office, to take complete details of the calls, viz;; the addresses of the complainant and the details of the complaint. If the complaint regards illegal tree felling, they are to immediately type a written complaint and send it to the concerned ACF/RFO's Office for appropriate action.

2. The DFO assured ESG that he has begun to direct officers of the rank of ACFs (Assistant Conservator of Forests) to inspect tree-felling complaints. Only in their absence will the Range Forest Officers be sent to the spots to inspect the complaints. He added that his department had started taking photographic evidences in some cases.

3. Presently, only the Malleshwaram RFO has a phone connection. Therefore, this phone number is given as the Tree unit squad in the newspapers. He plans to open separate offices for the Bangalore South and North regions. Till then, the present DFO’s office Ph. No. (3343464) and the RFO Malleshwaram Ph. No. (3343543 / 9844144989) will serve as help lines for tree complaint cases.

4. ESG asked the DFO to clarify whether the court directions (under WA 8178/1999 dated 29/7/03) would apply to regions other than Bangalore. ESG indicated to him that the court direction applies for the whole of Karnataka, while the G.O (Govt Order No.A9.V.CR.912/2003-04, dated 2/8/03) does not. ESG also sought clarification on whether the Govt. order applies to the BMRDA region and the Bangalore Rural region? The DFO was not sure about Bangalore Rural but hinted that it might apply to BMRDA region and asked ESG to check with the DFO, Bangalore Rural on this issue.

5. ESG‘s letter (dated 20th Oct, 2003) along with the Case Files, requesting legal action against the lawbreakers was handed over to the DFO. He assured ESG that he would study the CASE FILES. He asked ESG to follow up with him on this issue in two weeks time.

6. The DFO was happy with ESG’s recent interview with the press (TOI, Bangalore Times: 21/10/03- “Trees still being cut in the city”). The interview outlines ESG’s ideas to address the important issue of conserving precious tree cover in Bangalore in association with the Forest department and with people’s initiative and involvement.