Mullaperiyar tree felling: Forest secretary influenced officials to give consent


Biju Pankaj/Mathrubhumi News

The letter sent by the Forest Secretary asking the officials to give Tamil Nadu the consent for tree felling has been acquired by Mathrubhumi News.

Mullaperiyar dam (File Picture) | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: Evidence shows that the Forest Secretary was involved in giving consent to Tamil Nadu for tree felling in Mullaperiyar. Mathrubhumi News received documents showing that the Forest Secretary tried to influence authorities to give consent for tree felling.

The letter sent by the Forest Secretary asking the officials to give consent for tree felling has been acquired by Mathrubhumi News. The first letter states that the decision must be taken based on the Supreme Court order. Since there was no action following this, the Forest Secretary again sent a letter to the officials.

These letters came to light when the Chief Wildlife Warden Bennichan Thomas, who gave the order for tree felling was under suspension. Chief forest officer P K Kesavan and many others had met the Chief Minister and the Minister for Forest on Friday requesting to cancel his suspension.

The Forest Principal Secretary gave the first letter to the chief forest officer, Chief Wildlife Warden who is currently under suspension, Forest Management Principal Conservator and Periyar Tiger Reserve Deputy Director on October 19, 2020.

The letter stated that the Supreme Court’s order regarding the tree felling in the areas near the baby dam for strengthening it is still prevalent and that measures must be taken over it.

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