Youth form human chain against tree felling

Slamming the rationale behind chopping the trees, the protesters, under the aegis of the Wild Forever Foundation and Hasiru Usiru, said that the BBMP "should first do something to reduce the number of vehicles than mindlessly axe the trees".

"The civic agency says it has to cut down the trees to widen the roads and decongest vehicular movement. Without doing anything to reduce the number of vehicles, the BBMP has come up with road-widening plan just to 'hide its inefficiency',” Vinay, a volunteer with Hasiru Usiru, said. Wider roads, according to another volunteer Shaheen, will throw up more problems. "Elders and children struggle to cross the roads. With wider roads, it will be even tougher. Besides, widening 226 roads will result in loss of as many as 40,000 trees. Even if four lakh saplings are planted in compensation, it will be a long time for them to grow besides where is the space to plant these saplings?" she asked.

According to the activists, Bangalore should seriously think of adopting the Ahmedabad model where buses have dedicated lanes for increased speed. In addition, instead of spending Rs 5,338 crore on the High Speed Rail Link (HSRL), the money could be used for providing five lakh free cycles and also build cycle lanes. The agitators also criticised the BBMP for not consulting the citizens before undertaking road-widening projects in the City.

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