Thiruvananthapuram, September 2 (BPNS)
The inhuman act of some as part of a road widening project in Kerala’s Malappuram district left many with a heavy heart. The video of the incident, in which an operator of an earth mover felled a tree that was home to scores of birds, resulting in the killing of birds, its nests, eggs, and hatchlings got circulated widely on social media platforms and netizens grieving over the same.
It was on Wednesday that the cold-blooded act was performed at VK Padi near Edavanna in Malappuram as part of the development of a national highway. The video that was shot by a local got widely shared.
Taking a cue from the widespread outcry being raised by the locals, officials, netizens, environmentalists, bird lovers, and others on various platforms, the government acted and charged those responsible for the incident under the Wildlife Protection Act. As per reports, three persons – the one who operated the earth mover, the one who cut the tree, and the contractor who awarded the work – were booked under various sections of the Act. The earth mover was also seized by the Forest Department.
Mentioning the incident as a cruel act, forest minister AK Saseendran said that no prior approval was sought from the concerned by the contractor for felling the tree. According to the Forest Department, the tree got felled without following certain prerequisites including ensuring that no birds are there in the tree before rooting it out.
“What’s depressing is that at the time of the act scores of birds including cormorants that were included in Schedule IV were found to be resting in that. Also, there were eggs and hatchlings. A little bit of common sense, as well as compassion, could have avoided this barbaric act,” said personnel with the Forest Department.
At the same time, PWD minister Muhammad Riyas is said to have sought a report from the National Highways Authority of India regarding the incident.