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Citizens protest against amendment to Tree Preservation Act



Times News Network Bengaluru: Several environmentalists and nature lovers protested at the Town Hall here on Saturday to express anger against the proposed amendment to the Karnataka Tree Preservation Act which would allow easier chopping of 50 species of trees. Protesters of all ages came from across the city. Some school students also raised slogans such as ‘Ullisi ullisi, maragalu ullisi’ (save trees), ‘'beke beku, maragalu beku’ (trees are essential). Akshay Heblikar, director, Eco-watch, said, “We want development in Bengaluru, but some places like Malleswaram and Basavanagudi are part of the old city where we don't want trees to be disturbed. Tree species, which will be included in the exemption list as part of the amendment, are important for the city as they add to the biodiversity.” Gunasheela H M, 13, read out an oath to save trees and all protesters took the pledge. Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO, Namma Bengaluru Foundation, said, “We need to ensure that the move to amend the Karnataka Tree Preservation Act is dropped immediately. What Bengaluru desperately needs is more trees and protect the existing ones. This attempt by the government should be fought by every Bengalurean.” Senior citizen Vijay Kumar said during the 1970s, Bengaluru had more than 65% green cover and with increasing urbanisation, every tree species needs to be saved. — Aditi Warnoolkar is a student of NSoJ and is now an intern with Times of India, Bangalore