BENGALURU: Residents of Vinayaknagar and KR Garden are angry with the civic body for axing trees for the proposed signal-free corridor. Holding placards and shouting slogans — schoolchildren to working professionals — all staged a protest on the busy Old Airport Road on Tuesday.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) chopped several trees overnight with the commencement of work on the signal-free corridor. The agitators claimed that while over 20 trees were already cut on the stretch from National Aeronautical Limited to the ISRO Junction on Old Airport Road, there were many proposed to be axed.
Asha Peter, a resident of Vinayaknagar, said, “We noticed that the trees were cut overnight. This happened over the weekend. The BBMP has to be transparent if trees are brought down for development purposes. If it is inevitable that trees have to be cut, they must ensure that they leave space for planting saplings.”
The residents who are organised into a waste management group approached BBMP officials. They were told the trees were cut to make way for an underpass at ISRO Junction. Rajan Kapoor, a resident, said that a BBMP engineer told them that 52 trees would face the axe.
The protesters claimed that forest department officials had previously refused permission. However, they later gave approval after transfer of some officials.Rajendra Orpe, co-ordinator of the residents group, said, “My wife takes this road daily. Two days ago, she noticed the trees were cut. We staged a protest fearing more trees would be axed.”BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said that trees were axed at three consecutive junctions to make way for the signal-free corridor.