Update about cutting of trees at Vaniamkulam, Shornur.


The volume of trees felled valued around 2 crores....and the amount credited till today on the sale of the timber is only a paltry sum of Rs. 5 lakhs.

The former Bishop’s House of the North Kerala Diocese of the Church South India is situated in a more rural location in - called Vaniamkulam. The old Bishop’s house still remains in a 13.5 acres lush green, much neglected compound, as a standing monument to our callous disregard of the legacy that we have inherited from the missionaries and of our lack of vision and mission as a church.

The total area of the compound was 17 acres and what remains with us now is only 13.5 acres. The rest of the land has been encroached by the henchmen of Bishops from time to time. This property which is of the nature of the forest in legal terms has been coming under the frontal attack of those whose eyes are only in monetary gain since past few years. In April 2009, the Bishop of the Diocese, Rt. Rev K P Kuruvilla, allowed the felling of 330 number of teakwood trees from Vaniamkulam CSITA property.

Mr. Stanly Paul of Vaniamkulam pastorate, Ottapalam, approached the District Vacation Court, Palakkad, and filed a suit, by original suit no. 164/09 and filed a civil miscellaneous petition no. 14/2009 at the of the Honorable Munsiff court of Ottapalam. The volume of trees felled valued around 2 crores. By the time, a court commission visited the place, most of the timber was transported and the balance timber left there in the property was assesses to value Rs. 65 lakhs by the court commission. But over a period of one year, circumventing the law of the land and the CSI constitution, the bishop managed to sell the timber left behind to a timber contractor and the amount credited till today on the sale of the timber is only a paltry sum of Rs. 5 lakhs. In effect under Bishop K P Kuruvilla’s initiative and leadership, teakwood worth Rs two crores was alienated for a paltry sum of Rs five lakhs. CSITA and its attorneys in North Kerala Dioceses owe an explanation to the church member as per chapter IV of the CSI constitution. We also need to know besides the Bishop, who else have profited from this clandestine deal which actually would have fetched 2 crores to the CSITA and the Diocese.

In April 2010, the Bishop, by misrepresenting facts, and without the knowledge of the Church Worker, the Presbyter in Charge, the Executive Committee and the Property Committee, fraudulently obtained a pass from forest authorities to fell 6 number of teakwood trees, under the pretext that would be required for the construction of the Bishops house at Shornur. However, using this permission, instead of six mature trees they fell 60 immature green teakwood trees below the girth of 1.5 meters, without adhering to any norm fixed for cutting the trees under the Kerala Preservation of Tree Act of 1986 and the Kerala Restriction on Cutting and Destruction of Valuable Trees Act 1974. It is to be assumed that this could not have happened without the connivance of the officials of the forest department.

However the local congregation members prevented the transportation of this huge volume of logs scattered all around this thirteen acre plot, approximately valued at Rs 50 lakhs. Bishop and his henchmen, some of them local party members are working overtime to prevent media from covering this gruesome slaughtering of trees and telecasting. However the scene was telecasted by the local channels at Shornur and Ottapalam. A complaint is being lodged with the range forest officer who is also officiating as tree officer by Mr. Shaju George of Vaniamkulam congregation. Everyone is looking forward to the unfolding drama associated with this in the coming days.

We are left with many unanswered questions. A few trees may be required for the construction of the Bishop house, what are we going to do with the remaining large volume, which is valued at 50 lakhs. Can the diocesan officers sell the rest of the logs felled without permission? If so what is its sale value, and to whom will they be sold and for what purpose would the money be put to use? Who should be made accountable to this illegal and at the same time unconstitutional act by the Bishop and his accomplices? These questions are to be discussed and responsibilities fixed by the executive committee and the property committee. The action taken should be informed to the congregations as every member of CSI is a rightful owner of these properties as per chapter IV of the CSI constitution. But they are now be stolen and squandered by the Bishop and a spineless group of officers.

THE DEVIL COMES TO STEAL, KILL AND DESTROY. I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly

– John 10:10.

All our prized processions which we have inherited from our forefathers from the great missionaries of CMS and Basal mission- our mission compounds- our inheritance which we keep close to our hearts are being looted, squandered and destroyed. Whether it is Thalikulam property, Fort Cochin English bungalow, or Munnar property, all are being squandered. It is time that we react. NO, we are not going to let the DEVIL steal, destroy and kill. Wearing God’s armour, which is the word of God, We are going to fight with ALL our might. We will NOT GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT! We are not going to let someone steal that which is ours, our most prized possessions.


Anonymous said...

Trees as such are an integral part of nature.It recycles our waste and keeps us healhy.Thats not the point.When the whole world is gaining momentum on how to save the earth and keep its natural sources intact and our church is celebrating green gospel, kuruvi and his pea brained langoors went right ahead and chopped down most of the trees in Vaniamkulam.Nice to know that he is supported left and right by two dimwits one an obese lorry driver and another a corrupted govt official.Kuruvi has lost his integrity and stooped down to level never seen.He never had any standards as such.But these are new lows.He has gone down to the extent of cutting the branch he is perched on,little knowing the fact that the higher he goes the greater the fall.

Sunny Joseph said...

what a shame...when the whole world is striving to protect the environment, one can never expect such an act from a Bishop. we church members are to be blamed for electing a criminal as a Bishop...I wonder whether K P Kuruvilla has conciseness, does he not fear God. Judiciary is the only option for the laymen..My best wishes and prayers for this initiative.

Unknown said...

Why does the bishop need such opulent a house.Look at other religions the more they are closer to God the simpler they become.I think we need to take a cue.I dont blame Kuruvilla for all this but our creator[Forgive me God for what i am about to say be pardoned and shelved in your forgiven lockers].Bible says God made man in his true self not his true character.That Christian character is what we strive to achive and through it salvation.But then if we lack charachter and salvation arn't we all lost.

Valsa Mandody Peter said...

We have seen the wanton destruction and theft from sale of the old Basel Mission properties since the CSI was formed. In the past, my parents and grandparents were all for the church as they felt it was against God's will to protest. However, it looks as if the situation in CSI is similar to the one in Germany with the sale of property etc by the then ruling church fathers. It took a Martin Luther to come forward and lead the church in protest.
It is time now for those of us who value the church traditions and moral values to come forward and stem the rot in the CSI.
Praying that the Lord will lead us in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

kurunilla is not a human being.He is the 'HIS MASTER'S VOICE'(Of the state service criminal 'EARNEST EDAPALLY'

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