WHEN YOU SEE A TREE BEING CUT OR PRUNED AND WANT TO SAVE IT
* Challenge the person/s cutting or pruning the tree. If they have ‘permission’ from the forest department, ask for the original copy of it which will have the forest officer’s signatures on ink
* You ask the persons to stop cutting till the original ‘permission’ is brought to you. If they refuse to show you the original permission or fail altogether to show any permission, then you can safely ask them to stop immediately, if they do not, then dial 100 and call the nearest PCR.
* If the tree cutting persons show you a photocopy of the ‘permission’, to begin with, you can have a look at the date of issue. A ‘permission’ is valid only for 30 days from the date of its issue. If the date is beyond the 30-days duration, then the ‘permission’ is invalid and is illegal, unless accompanied by an extension warrant. With this information, when the police van turns up, you can get the tree-cutting work stopped with immediate effect.
* If, however, you are shown the original ‘permission’ and its validity is intact, then you can check up on the persons executing the ‘permission’, whether they belong to the agency or are employed by the actual grantee of the ‘permission’. If the persons are really authorized by the grantee or are the grantee themselves, in that case, you cannot do anything immediately. But if you have enough extra-legal zeal, you can challenge the tree cutters and tell the police that you have moved an appeal against the order or intend to move, then you call up the forest officer and request him to temporarily stop the tree-cutting action. Mostly, this effort will put a stop to the tree cutting for the moment.
* If you do not have the courage to walk up to the tree being cut or pruned, you can simply call 100 and the Tree Helpline (2337 8600), New Tree Helpline No-1800118600 of the forest department and report the matter. The Tree Helpline will lodge your complaint. As a rare chance, if the tree cutters are very poor people, like migrant labourers or dry wood collectors, they will run away at the sight of the police van.
* Under the tree laws, in normal conditions, even cutting of a single branch of any tree is illegal if done without permission. However, if a tree or its branches are in an imminent condition of falling or have already crashed, then after photographed, the tree or the branches can be removed and the forest office has to be informed of the action with photographic proof within 24 hours of the action.