WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM (1)
WhatsApp Image 2023-02-26 at 9.49.20 AM

Tree chopping controversy: Kerala suspends top Forest official

Kochi: Kerala government has suspended Bennichan Thomas, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) for allowing Tamil Nadu to cut some tree near Mullaperiyar dam in violation of laid down norms. 

The decision in this regard was taken by the state cabinet and assigned Forest Department secretary Anil Kumar Sinha to take necessary action against the official and cancel the order and issue a new one notifying cancellation of the order.

The government said that the official had violated the 1968 All India Services rules for taking a decision which should have been taken after the matter was discussed at ministerial level, media reports said.

The government had on Sunday kept in abeyance the order permitting executive engineer, Water Resorces Department, Cumbum, in Theni district to cut the trees to strengthen Baby dam near the main dam.

The order said that Bennichan is suspended subject to investigation against him.

The opposition in Kerala had created furore in the Assembly and demanded cancellation of the order instead of keeping it in abeyance.

The Opposition parties including the AIADMK and BJP had organised huge protests across Tamil Nadu targeting the ruling DMK for its failure to prevail over Kerala in the matter.

There were protests in the five districts of Madurai,Theni, Dindigul, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram which are irrigated using water released from Mullaperiyar dam.

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