Bengaluru, Nov 10: More than 1,000 residents took part in a walk to draw attention towards the need for better road and protection of green cover in the city.
The walk was an initiative of Hasiru Usiru (Greenery is Life's Breath), a conglomeration of various city-based community organisations. The walk took off from Lalbagh and ended at Town Hall, covering a distance of almost three km. The event was flagged off by Dinesh Gundurao, legislator from the Gandhinagar constituency. 'I am happy that the citizens of the city are a concerned lot and have addressed very vital issues like bad roads and loss of green cover in Bangalore and decided to raise their voices through the walk,' said Gundurao.
'I want to thank all the participants who have joined in our campaign through today's event. The main purpose of the entire exercise is to highlight the extensive damage road-widening and metro projects are causing to Bangalore,' Divya, a member of Environment Support Group (ESG), an NGO and part of Hasiru Usiru, said before the event took off.
'The event is to say that the citizens of Bangalore should be included in the rebuilding process of the city,' said Kathyayini Chamaraj, executive trustee of Civic, an NGO and part of Hasiru Usiru. Bangalore in recent times has lost around 50,000 trees, felled for developmental activities, states an ESG report.
During the early 1990s, the city had less than 700,000 public vehicles plying on its roads daily. By the end of 2004, the number had crossed 2.1 million and in the last four years two million more cars, three-wheelers and two wheelers have been added to the city roads.
On an average, around 1,500 new vehicles come on to the city roads daily. 'By participating in the walk I want to tell the government that they have to find an immediate solution to horrible traffic congestion problem of the city. The city was once green and healthy. The government in the name of development cannot simply chop trees,' said Raghuveer Anand, who participated in the walk.
Hasiru Usiru pointed out that the measures undertaken by the government in the name of easing traffic congestion are highly damaging to the environment. According to Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, for any developmental project to be taken forward, public opinion has to be sought.
The ESG pointed out that large scale tree felling carried out for these developmental projects is in violation of Karnataka Prevention of Trees Act, which clearly states huge number of tree should not be cut and re-plantation of trees is a must.