BENGALURU: The Turahalli state and minor forest seems to be paying the price for the government’s planning. This time, to achieve Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s flagship Bengaluru Mission 2022 programme. The state government has announced the creation of tree parks under the Mission, and has identified Turahalli forest to be made a part of the tree park.
To abide by the government’s orders, Karnataka forest department officials have started to survey places which can be demarcated to create a tree park. Already, a portion of the Turahalli forest has been opened up to people by creating a walking space and a canopy. Parts of the forest have also been encroached.
Due to this development, many MLAs have been approaching the forest department with requests to use such forest patches to create lung spaces in cities and districts they represent. “Demarcating a portion of the state and minor forest into a tree park, will further reduce the existing natural lung space. However, we are also convinced that the presence of people will help in better vigilance and ensure there are no untoward activities or encroachment.
Also, creation of tree parks will have no effect on the status of Turahalli. It will still remain a state and minor forest,” a senior forest department official told The New Indian Express. The official added that the survey was being done to ensure that only areas where there is no wildlife movement and where wildlife would not affected are chosen. “Already, many instances of man-animal conflict are being reported and we do not want any more untoward incidents.
Doraiswamipalya butterfly park is a classic example, where with people’s involvement, a dying lung space was protected and became a butterfly park,” the official said. Meanwhile, citizens and other forest department officials have expressed their displeasure. They questioned the point of converting an existing forest into a tree park.
“The idea and meaning of a tree park must be to create more lung spaces and not tamper with existing and notified ones. The government has forgotten its earlier order that land fills should be converted into tree parks. In only one case has BBMP has implemented it,” said Hari K, a Kanakpura Road resident said.