Bengaluru: Nearly 500 citizens from different walks of life formed a human chain from Fun World on Jayamahal Road till Mekhri Circle to protest against chopping of 112 trees for a road widening project.
They held placards and shouted 'Beku Beku Mara Beku' and 'Mara Kadi Bedi' in the protest, organised by the Citizens for Bengaluru and other organisations. “If the civic bodies can plan to widen a road or build a steel flyover, why can’t they show similar zeal to develop public transport," they asked.
This is the second time that citizens are coming together against a civic project after a similar protest some months ago against the steel flyover.
80 trees can be shifted: Commissioner
BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad said, “There is no doubt, citizens need green cover, but they also need good roads. This? ?has led to a dilemma as the government has spent crores in acquiring ?land." He? ?said that of the 112 trees marked, 80 can be shifted to a different location with the help of experts from the Indian Institute of Science.
‘Road widening not a solution’
One of the protesters, 50-year-old Catherine, who identified herself only by her first name, said, “I have travelled and stayed in different parts of the world, but nowhere have I seen a flyover or a road widening project solving traffic problems."
Catherine, who works as a copy editor with a radio company, said, “Our home is at High Grounds. I first visited Bengaluru in 1972, and the city has changed since then. It is no more the city that we loved. Trees are being axed indiscriminately for infrastructure projects. In the countries that I have visited, I never felt the need for a car or bike. That is the level of efficiency of the public transport system, including buses and trains. But here, buses are few, forcing individuals to depend on private transport. The Metro too is poorly planned and we have to take an autorickshaw or a bus to reach our destination after getting down from a Metro train,” she said.
Founder-member of Citizens for Bengaluru, Mr Srinivas Alavalli, demanded that the project should be scrapped to protect the trees....