Friday, February 05, 2010

‘Trees cut despite court order’

‘Trees cut despite court order’

Staff Reporter
Students, farmers stage protest over UAS link road imbroglio
— photo: K. Gopinathan

A RALLY FOR TREES: Farmers’ leaders, Gandhi Krishi Vignana Kendra (GKVK) students, Vidyaranyapura residents, and environmentalists taking out a rally to Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) office, Yelahanka Zone, at Byatarayanapura to present a memorandum protesting against laying of a new road on the University of Agricultural Sciences campus on Thursday.
Bangalore: Farmers’ groups and students of the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) on Thursday protested against the felling of trees on the university campus by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike. In 2009, close to 700 trees were felled on the campus to lay a link road to connect Yeshwanthpur-Yelahanka Road with Bellary Road.

Sidharth Prabhakar, a B.Sc. student, said trees were being felled despite a High Court order to the contrary. In an interim order last September, the court directed the BBMP and the Bangalore Development Authority to stop felling trees on the UAS campus.

“The decision to create a link road through UAS sends a wrong message to the people doing research as several projects will be undermined by the disturbance the road will [bring in its wake]. We have a few people opting for scientific research these days anyway,” Mr. Prabhakar said and added that the tree-felling in the verdant 1,000-acre campus would deprive the city of a crucial lung space. The protesters submitted a memorandum to D. Mallu, BBMP Joint Commissioner, Yelahanka, to cease tree felling until the High Court verdict. Kurubura Shantakumar, president, Karnataka Farmers’ Association’s Federation and Karnataka Sugarcane Grower’s Association, threatened to intensify the protest.

Mr. Mallu told The Hindu that he would examine the situation and take action as per the court direction. He refused to comment on claims that the BBMP continued to fell trees on the campus.


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