Monday, March 27, 2006

Fighting for lung space

Fighting for lung space
Deccan Herald

When nearly all the world is out to bring down the trees and construct buildings, a section of residents in Bangalore are trying their best to save trees.

A group of residents, under the banner of the Kalyan Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association, decided that the ‘Mini Forest’ in their area had to be retained so and since then, they have not given up the fight.

Allotment changed

According to a resident, B P Shah, the CA site No 4 in I Block Kalyan Nagar had been demarcated as a park in the 1995 City Development Plan (CDP) of the Bangalore Development Authority. But the same site has now been allotted to Bearys Welfare Association towards social and cultural activities, he said.

Records in the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) show that the land use was not changed by the Town Planning department too. Moreover, in 2006, the BDA affirmed that there was no need to change the land use of the ‘Mini Forest’ and in the proposed Revised Comprehensive Development Plan (RCDP) 2015, the same triangular CA site has been shown as a green area, Shah said.

Besides, a range forest officer who inspected the area confirmed that there were more than 500 fully grown trees on the site spanning around 2,700 sq mts and recommended that this be converted into a Mini Forest.

Despite all this, the BDA is yet to take action in cancelling the allotment to Bearys, Shahsaid.

Pleas made

“Our area has no lung space at all. We have made several appeals to the authorities concerned to see to it that the mini forest is saved so that there is some greenery. But there has been no response so far,” Shah claimed.

BMP officer speaks

However, a BDA official said that the entire layout had been transferred to the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, which in turn, has to take the decision in this regard.

But according to Mahanagagara Palike Tree Officer Krishna Udupidi, the BMP commissioner has already written to the BDA commissioner asking him to cancel the allotment made to Bearys and not permit land use conversion for any other purpose other than a park.

“Since they made the allotment, they have to cancel it. But we have already written to them,” he said and added that a tree census has been done in the area in question.

“Once the allotment is cancelled, we will initiate steps to create a park on the CA site”, Shah added.


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