Bengaluru: Citizens intensify protest against tree park in Turahalli forest | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Over 300 residents, including children, on Sunday staged a protest against the government’s move to convert Turahalli into a tree park.
Expressing their strong opposition, the activists alleged that the move smacked of a real estate mafia at work.
The protestors demanded that the government drop forthwith the project of converting the forest into a tree park. The protest was led by ‘Changemakers of Kanakpura Road’ and ‘Clean Up Turahalli’.
While the forest department recently held a meeting with citizens to help them to understand about tree park, the latter were not convinced by it.
Krishna MB, ecologist and ornithologist, said that the this is the last vestige of forest that has survived in Bengaluru and it is playing an important role in ecology of the city. The government should infact make attempts to protect it, he said.
Ashwini Pradeep, a resident of Chennammana Kere Achhkat, who is studying his PhD on diversity of birds at Turhalli minor forest in Kuvempu University, said the forest patch is home to 126 species of birds including migratory birds and 60 types of flora including Orchids. The forest was once an elephant corridor, she added.
Kavitha Bhavi, a resident of Srinivasapura, said, “We are all speaking about forest and wildlife protection and a move like this will definitely affect the habitat. We do not have any right and tree park is just going to kill many of the species. Let the forest remain as forest and pass it to next generation.”
In December 2020, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had unveiled the ‘Bengaluru Mission 2022’ under which the mini forests in Turahalli, Kadugodi, JP Nagar and Mathikere were to be developed and popularised.
Turahalli minor forest covers 600 acres of land while the reserved forest area adjoining it covers 552 acres. In a meeting held with Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Sanjay Mohan, the residents unanimously objected for the tree park coming up in the forest
“The PCCF has agreed to bring the residents’ concerns to the notice of his higher authorities and has requested us to raise this issue with the higher authorities including the forest minister. The plan, DPR or the working plan of the Turahalli Tree park has not been shared,” the protestors said.

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Sagar Biswas

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