Rally in Karnataka to save trees from new Act

BENGALURU: School children and eco-activists descended at Town Hall to protest against the proposal to amend the Karnataka Tree Preservation Act (KTPA), which will denotify 50 species of trees, including gulmohar, bamboo and African tulip.

The activists are exerting pressure on the government to drop its plan to amend the Act, which it may carry out next week.

“This is another draconian move against our Garden City. The brutal attempt by the state government should be fought by every Benglurean,” said Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO, Namma Bengaluru Foundation.

He observed that the species which are listed for the denotification is the reason why Bengaluru is called the Garden City.

According to the proposed KTPA Amendment Act 2014, if the number of trees which are to be felled is less than 50, BBMP will not call for a public consultation.

Majority of the species of trees included in the list for denotification exist in plenty in areas where the steel flyover was proposed.

Tree doctor Vijay Nishanth has written a letter to Congress President Rahul Gandhi against the move and urged the citizens to do same since there is an apprehension that the amendment may get a green signal by Tuesday.

“We suspect this is being done to please timber mafia. IISc and ATREE have already said that the move will be disastrous, since it will reduce the bio-diversity of the state,” Nishanth said.

Students of Girinagar Shanthinikethana School held placards condemning the move of the government which will further reduce the green cover of the city.

On February 15, retired Justice M.F. Saldanha expressed displeasure in an open letter. He wrote, “There is no doubt about the fact that these shameful gimmicks are being resorted to in collaboration with the tree mafia for the purpose of collecting huge amounts of black money primarily with the elections in mind.”

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