An environmentally-aware boy studying in class 8 ensured that a man got penalised Rs 62,075 for felling a tree at Saidabad in Hyderabad. The boy dialed the Telangana Forest Department’s toll free number (1800 425 5364) to report the axing of a neem tree. The tree is said to be around 40 years old.
Responding immediately, the officials fined the man, G Santhosh Reddy of Saidabad, for felling the tree at the site in Hyderabad.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Hyderabad Forest Range Officer Ch Venkataiah Goud said: “At 4 am, the boy called our toll-free number and informed that a chopped tree was being loaded into a vehicle to be moved away. The boy apparently woke up after hearing the noise.”
“The staff that answered the call informed me and I also spoke with the boy. He refused to reveal his name and other details but said he was a member of the Green Brigade,” he added.
To protect the saplings and trees planted as part of a scheme, the Telangana government had directed schools to create ‘Green Brigades’, with students and teachers as members.
Goud and other Forest Department staff rushed to the spot soon after receiving the complaint. At the spot, they found equipment used for chopping the tree and a burned stump. They found that Reddy failed to follow the due procedure and also not sought permission to cut the tree, and consequently fined him.
Deforestation — is the conversion of forested land to non-forested land by humans — is one of the most concerning environmental issues that the world is facing currently. Deforestation occurs when a land dominated by naturally occurring trees is converted to provide certain services in response to the human demand.
Continuous illicit cutting of trees has impacted the microclimatic conditions, hydrological cycle, soil quality, biodiversity, etc. of the country