City residents protest against trees chopped for hoardings

City residents protest against trees chopped for hoardings

Residents stage a protest on Saturday against the recent axing of trees on the Outer Ring Road.

More than 200 citizens and environmental activists staged a protest on Saturday against the recent incidents of trees being axed so that advertisement hoardings on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) are prominently visible.

The residents — from the surrounding areas of Bellandur, Iblur, Suncity HSR Layout, Whitefield and from Cox Town, Hebbal, and JP Nagar — formed a human chain along the ORR in Bellandur, following the chopping of 24 flowering trees on the night of May 9.

People from all walks of life, including children, were seen at the protest.

Vijay Nishanth, tree doctor and an activist, said: "This is the fourth case in a series, all linked to commercial interest to increase the visibility of hoardings."

Odette Katrak, a resident of Bellandur and an activist, said: "We residents are monitoring the health of the stumps by applying regular fungicide based on instructions from Vijay Nishant, and hope that these trees still have a chance."

"Today’s protest is to make it loud and clear that we citizens love our trees. We are watching and we will not allow the murder of our trees," said Sonali Singh, another resident and activist.

Authorities unaffected

Residents said that lodging complaints with the authorities has not made any difference. Mukund Kumar, a resident said, "Despite the lodging of an FIR and the forest department removing a hoarding a couple of days ago, we noted the brazenness with which the banner came back up just before the citizens’ protest. Are the authorities listening?"

Sunil Reddy, who spotted the tree cutting on the morning of May 10 and raised the first alarm, had this to say to residents: “If you come across such incidents, act immediately to bring it to the notice of the authorities concerned and raise your voice against such acts. Active involvement and support from the citizens can save many more trees."