Once lush green, forest area is now denuded, thanks to BBMP

Once lush green, forest area is now denuded, thanks to BBMP

Palike is setting up a garbage-processing unit there; residents up in arms

Once lush green, forest area is now denuded, thanks to BBMP

 Filled with lush green trees barely a few months ago, the ten acres of land in the BM Kaval forest area adjacent to the Turahalli forest now looks denuded.

Resembling a war-ravaged zone, the large swathe of forest land has been destroyed by the “development-oriented” Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in its quest for a solution to the City’s garbage problem.

Earthmovers are at work day and night to materialise the BBMP’s dream of a “garbage-free City”. But local residents such as Beera Raju are concerned that many wild animals in the area have disappeared ever since the earthmovers arrived here.

The portion where the garbage processing unit is coming up in the fifth block of Banashankari Sixth Stage has been reserved for garden. It is also very close to a residential area and the previous track record of the BBMP shows that it has scant respect for environmental norms and the municipal solid waste rules introduced by the Union government.

B M Shivakumar of Jayaprakash Narayan Vichara Vedike, who brought out the BBMP’s plans for a garbage processing unit in the forest area, alleged that the police were “helping” the BBMP and the State government crush any movement against the dumping of waste in the forest land.

He said the place where the garbage unit was coming up was home to many wild animals such as mongoose, deer, etc.

“The decision is in gross violation of the Indian Forest Act and the Wildlife Protection Act. The government and the BBMP should immediately halt this project.”

On August 8 this year, Shivakumar went on, the Vedike made a complaint with the Range Forest Officer about the project. Subsequently, the RFO reached the spot with a Geographical Positioning System (GPS kit and spent about 45 minutes in the area to ascertain the damage caused to the forest land.

In his Mahazar report, according to Shivakumar, the RFO stated that the garbage processing unit will not only destroy the BM Kaval forest area but also the neighbouring Turahalli forest. It will also have a negative effect on wild animals in the Turahalli forest.

“Both the BBMP and the State government have ignored the reports of the RFO and gone ahead to use the forest land for setting up the garbage processing unit. Who will save the wildlife if the government itself violates the forest law to bring a project that will harm the environment? The government should immediately give up the project and utilise the land only for garden,” he demanded.