Updated: September 10, 2021 8:43:52 am
Students and alumni of a government school in Dasarahalli in North Bengaluru have launched the ‘Chipko’ movement to protest against the alleged cutting of trees on campus by the civic body.
According to the students, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has proposed to cut down around 40 fully grown trees near the school ground inside Jindal Jubilee Government High School premises for the road-widening project in the Abbigere area in Dasarahalli zone.
On Thursday morning, around 50 high school students along with a few alumni of the institution, held the ‘Appiko movement’ (Kannada version of the Chipko movement) by hugging the trees, which are proposed to be cut down by the BBMP.
The students have alleged that 40 old trees will be cut down which will affect the greenery of the school campus. Speaking to The Indian Express, Preethi, a student studying in class 9 said, “Engineers and officials from the civic body have been coming to the school since the last few days and have marked the trees which are proposed to be cut down for the road project. The trees are fully grown and provide the campus greenery and a good environment. To protest against the authorities, we have decided to hold the Appiko or the Chipko movement kind of protest.”
The students are also joined by the school alumni in the protest. According to them, the trees were planted at least 20 years back by students who watered the saplings and protected them.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dileep, an alumnus of the school, said “When we came to know about the BBMP proposal to cut down the trees here, we were shocked since we and all our seniors have been protecting these trees. The campus is surrounded by a lot of greenery and it was never tampered with, but now, in the name of a road-widening project to connect the Chikkabanavara area, the BBMP is planning to cut the trees.”
These trees here are used by the students to play by setting up tree swings and the pupils are also concerned about the birds which are dependent on these trees. “We will not leave the tress to be cut down. We have set up tree swings on these trees to play. After Covid-19, we know the value of oxygen with people spending thousands of rupees for oxygen. But here, the government is cutting down the trees which provide natural oxygen,” Dhanush, a student said.
However, the BBMP officials said they have not received any complaint from the students and were not aware of the protest. “The BBMP’s roads department is carrying out the widening project in the area. So far, we have not received any complaint against the felling of trees or about the protest by students. We will check with the officials regarding the issue,” BBMP Dasarahalli Zone Joint Commissioner Narasimhamurthy told The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, the students, in a video message to the Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, have requested him to stop the authorities from felling the trees.
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