BENGALURU : Confirming his approval of this initiative, mayor Sampath Raj says, "I support this initiative by the citizens. It is common sense to not have concrete around a tree as it prevents water percolation. This is a good initiative, and they have taken permission for it at the ward level."
When asked about prevention of such violations in the future, he says that the BBMP will not release bills to contractors who concrete footpaths entirely. As for hoardings on skywalks, he says, " Each Skywalk costs Rs 3 crores, and the advertising agency has a 20-year lease. It has nothing to do with operating the lift. However, they are not allowed to prune or cut trees without written permission. If that is needed, we would choose to remove the hoarding instead."
Abhilash Reddy, husband of corporator Shilpa Abhilasha, from the New Thippasandra ward says, " Every year, when we run out of Cauvery water, people get riled up. If they don't protect the trees and allow water to go onto the roads, water shortage is inevitable. Commercial establishments often concrete footpaths. I will also be volunteering on Sunday for breaking the concrete around trees."