500 Trees Face a Massacre
Sumar Singh Sawian
It can happen only in Meghalaya, as the forest department has taken a unilateral decision, without any basis to massacre around 500 trees, considered to be a danger to human lives, the cause being that an old eucalyptus tree, because of weak roots over the years, came crashing down during the summer heavy rains, killing three persons. The eucalyptus tree is a native of Australia but somehow was grown in the premises of the Raj Bhavan Shillong. The tree has no fault of its own, as all along the years it was left unattended and uncared for. At this, the blame and responsibility should go to the attendants of Raj Bhavan, looking after the vegetation gardens which also include trees of different species.
The Forest Department, instead of instituting an enquiry on erring staff of the Raj Bhavan for criminal negligence has taken a vengeance on trees in and around the state capital by mercilessly chopping off the trees without any rhyme or reason. The pertinent question is, why the Forest Department had not taken any action, even an inspection of trees posing as a danger for all these years since the day the trees were mere saplings? As it is in Meghalaya, there is no policy on vital subjects in the day to day administration, such as a tree policy or forest policy. The eucalyptus therefore cannot end up only as an incident of an accident, killing persons and crushing taxi cabs but a probe is required and person responsible for the incident should,be brought to book according to the law of the land.
‘Planting of ten thousand saplings or more in the ‘Tree Plantation Day’ carries no meaning, if it is done in a haphazard manner’
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