Pradeep Pattanayak

Think twice before felling Palm trees. If you are cutting a palm tree, even from your own backyard, you may invite legal action. 

For cutting Pam trees, one must get prior permission from the Odisha Forest Department. 

As per reports, the Forest Department has taken this decision in view of the increasing cases of deaths caused by lightning strikes in Odisha. 

As Palm trees were exempted species, the felling of these trees was rampant. Since the disappearance of Palm trees is directly ascribed to increasing lightning strikes in the state, the department has decided to withdraw the exemption and plant 19 lakh Palm trees this year. Four trees will be planted at the four sides of each forest block’s boundary pillar in 52 divisions. For this, the SRC will spend Rs 7.5 crore. 

Also Read: IMD Predicts Heavy Rainfall, thunderstorm in Odisha districts in next 2 days

Besides reducing lightning-related mishaps, more Palm trees would help solve elephants’ food problems and strengthen the boundary pillars of the forest department. It is also learned that the SRC has directed the Agriculture department to take the initiative to plant Palm trees. 

“Hitherto, Palm trees were exempted species. No permission was required to cut them. Because of this, all roadside Palm trees have vanished. So we have withdrawn the exemption. It means, one should get permission from the Forest Department to cut a Palm tree, even if they own it. If they cut it without getting permission, action would be taken as per the law. The legal provisions for cutting Sal or Teak trees are also applicable for Palm trees,” said Debidutta Biswal, PCCF.

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