BENGALURU: Irked by the attempt of the state government to carve out a large portion of Turahalli forest into a tree park for the second time, residents around forest patches from Kanakapura Road, Banashankari, Uttarahalli and Jayanagar staged a protest on Wednesday.Over 100 people gathered at the Turahalli minor forest entrance with placards, demanding that the government reverse its order and not convert any existing forest patch into a tree park.
The residents also submitted a memorandum to Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Sanjai Mohan, who said that a public hearing will soon be held, and the proposal will be open for public objections. Meanwhile, Forest Minister Arvind Limbavalli told a private channel that if people were against a tree park at Turahalli forests then it will be shifted elsewhere, if need be.
However, the minister refused to talk to TNIE for any clarification on whether the project will be stalled, or shifted to a revenue land, or landfill. Not convinced with the move of the government, the residents have sent a memorandum to the Prime Minister seeking his intervention to save the forests from becoming another Lal Bagh or Cubbon Park. They also pointed out that the Forest Department has already converted 40 acres of the forest into a tree park, saying now no more damage should be done.
Experts and citizens pointed out that the Bengaluru Urban Forestry Committee and the Bengaluru Urban Working Plan for Management of Forests has not been consulted before the Chief Minister announced the creation of tree parks on forests of Turahalli, Machohalli and Kadugodi by April and June 2021.