Bengaluru: Citizens come out against chopping trees

Bengaluru: Over 200 citizens took to the streets for a peaceful protest on Outer Ring Road at Bellandur to protest against the chopping of 25 trees on May 9.

The residents of Iblur and Green Glen Layout, who were planting and nurturing trees with regular plantation drives to increase the tree cover, were distressed with the overnight chopping of several flowering trees to increase the visibility for hoardings.

Though the Lokayukta in June 2017 had said, “If any advertising agencies or representative of such agencies are causing damage to the trees, it is needless to mention that the authorities of the BBMP are required to remove such hoardings and cancel the permission/license granted to such agencies.”

It also directed the BBMP and forest department to ensure that no advertising agency should cause any damage even to a branch of a tree.  Vijay Nishanth, tree doctor, who has been advising residents on saving the trees and preventing such chopping down of trees, said, “This is the fourth case in a series, all linked to commercial interest to increase visibility for hoardings, and cases are on with the Lokayukta”.

FIR in this case was filed on May 16
Odette Katrak, a Bellandur resident and activist, said, “What is heartening is that we had the presence today of tree lovers from across the city, proving that the city indeed loves its tree cover and is willing to take on those wishing to destroy trees for commercial gains. We residents are monitoring the health of the stumps applying regular fungicide under Mr Nishant’s instruction and we hope the trees still have a chance.”After an uproar by citizens, the hoarding was brought down, but on Friday, the residents were appalled to see the Sobha Builder hoarding back again.

Sonali Singh, another resident-activist, said, “Today’s protest is to make a stand that we citizens love our trees. We are watching and will not allow murder of our trees. The perpetrator must be brought to book”   

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