India — The forest department has registered a case in connection with the felling of trees in a three-hectare area behind the institute of psychiatry and human behaviour (IPHB) premises at Bambolim, which was also partly burnt in a fire on Wednesday.
“The panchanama was conducted recently and the case has been registered against an unknown person,” a forest department official said. Around 18 trees, including cashew and forest species, were apparently bulldozed and bushes cleared about ten days ago. The signs of tractor marks indicated that the smaller trees may have been knocked down by using machinery, the source said.
While the case is booked under the Tree Preservation Act against an unknown person, the property is owned by E Sequeira. The inquiry is in progress regarding the clearing of trees in the three-hectare area, which is partially on a slope, overlooking river Zuari.
On Wednesday evening, fire services personnel, after being tipped off by citizens, extinguished a fire in a smaller part of the same property opposite the new Bambolim church.
Some workers at the site ran away at the sight of fire services personnel. “The trees felled and bushes cleared last week may have been set ablaze on Wednesday to wipe evidence of tree felling,” a local resident said. But PI Vishwesh Karpe of Agasaim police station said they cannot do much to register a case as no complaint has been received.