Saturday, August 07, 2004

Save Sankey Tank campaign

Please read this message and help save the Sankey Tank:

Date: 5/8/04

Respected Sir/Madam,

Sub: Destruction of crucial natural habitat of Wildlife around
Sankey Tank - regarding.

We, People for Animals (Pfa) are a Non-Governmental Organization working for the uplift of urban wildlife and environment. We bring to your kind attention the mega-construction activity taking place in the narrow stretch of wood land located just between Aranya Bhavan and Sankey tank park.

On 23/6/04 we were surprised to see a hoarding of a multi-storied apartment being established just outside Sankey tank park, and a large number of trucks moving in and out with construction material.I,along with the Pfa volunteers, went inside the area and looked around. To our surprise, we saw that a large number of trees were felled and lying there. We reported to the Forest Department, who stopped further felling.

On further investigation, we found that a huge commercio - residential complex is coming up in an area of 7.14 acres, for which the work had already begun. We also found that this activity is promoted by 'Abhishek Developers' a partnership firm represented by Sushil Mantri & Gulf Oil represented by Mr. Subhas Pramanik, going by the style "Mantri Apartments".

we have a very expensive and detailed brochure of the proposed project. According to the brochure, there will be 19 floors + 2 floors of basement, accommodating 233 flats. Surely, there will also be commercial complexes abutting the residential complex as well. This will jut out as a sore thumb in the entire neighbourhood. It is understood that each of these flats is being sold for a basic price of Rs. 1.00 crore and above. It is estimated that the live-in family members may be about 1,000 and the servants, drivers, etc., to service the super-rich inmates will be another 2,000. The commercial complexes that will surely follow the residential buildings may have a floating population of about 5,000. Altogether, about 8,000 persons will be crammed into this piece of land of 7.14 acres, where the woodland exist now.

You are kindly aware that Bangalore is better known as the 'Garden City', and the stretch of woodland running from Indian Institute of Science campus right to this construction point is very much a continuation of it. These trees also line the recently renovated Sankey tank. There are 156 species of birds which have been documented in the IISc campus. As the forest of IISc campus extends upto the land in question, it goes without saying that the same bird species also exist here, i.e., the place where development is proposed to take place. Further, due to its proximity to the lake, there may be many more water-loving birds existing here and depending on the trees adjoining the Sankey tank. Many of the birds roost here and nest here. The lake is also home to several wildlife including Pond terrapin, Flap shelled turtle, etc.
The cutting of trees and creating a huge concrete jungle in the only breathing place available for lakhs of nearby residents, shows utter disregard shown by the Developers to the peace and tranquility of the area. We are afraid that the birds will stop singing, replaced by the sound of blaring horns of automobiles, and the gutter water discharged into the Sankey tank, thereby destroying the aquatic eco-system of the tank. The bore-wells that will be drilled in the property will deplete the water in the Sankey tank.
These activities amount to destruction of the habitat of a large number of bird species and the adjoining aquatic eco-system of Sankey tank, which is an offence under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. There is strong evidence that the ownership of the land itself is under question.

We approach you with a request to immediately bring this issue to the attention of the public for which act the entire population of Bangalore will be grateful to you.
On Saturday i.e 7/8/04 and sunday i.e 8/8/04 we have organised a signature campaign for the public at the lake which has 2 entries and we will be setting up boards at both the gates between 6.00am to 8.30 am and 4.30 to 6.30pm.Interested people are welcome.
Thanking You

Yours Sincerely

Sharath Babu.R
Officer incharge
People For Animals


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