Sunday, November 30, 2008

Campaign launched against tree felling

Campaign launched against tree felling
DH News Service, Bangalore:

“Nearly 40,000 trees would be lost if BBMP undertakes road-widening on the 91 identified roads in Bangalore and if more road-widening projects are in the pipeline, then most of the trees would be lost.”

This was the fear that inspired a campaign against the road-widening for the Metro projects, a movement organised by Hasire Usiru, an environmental organisation here on Saturday.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Leo Saldanha from Hasire Usiru said that Government's plan to cut trees and widen roads is an illegal plan and should not be encouraged by the citizens, he said, "Instead of cutting down trees, Government should treat intersections scientifically, make traffic signal work efficiently and encourage people to use mass transport".

The campaign, he explained, was to protest against the BBMP and the forest officials who were allegedly violating the law by cutting down trees, removing pavement and widening roads without following the orders of the High court. As per the order in a public interest litigation road widening and other projects must comply with all provision of law.

An Empowered Committee was also set up to ensure the project was handled as per the law and in consultation with the public. But, Saldanha alleged, officials of BBMP were violating the law and not following instructions given by the Empowered Committee which has not approved a single road widening project since it was constituted in June 2008.

More than 200 supporters covering the entire steps of Town hall shouted slogans carrying posters like "Metro Go Underground", "Give space for Footpaths”.

A child carried a poster, "Budda never attained enlightenment under a lamp-post". An enthusiastic cyclist in sportswear had a poster which said "Create Cycle lanes".


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