In yet another attempt by west Bengalureans to protect the Turahalli state forest patch, Rajarajeshwarinagar residents, RR Nagar I-Care and Karnataka forest department officials will partner in an awareness campaign on Saturday.
Over 200 people have already signed up for the event, scheduled to begin at the Turahalli state forest, towards the BGS Hospital side. They will spread awareness on preserving and expanding the wooded area.
“Around 1,000 saplings will be distributed, which people will plant in the forest patch. Last year, around 2,500 saplings were planted. The idea is to increase green cover and involve communities in the protection of these saplings. Since the area is close to Bengaluru and is surrounded by many residential and commercial spaces, a fear of encroachment and forest fire looms large,” said a forest department official. Saplings of native species, about four to five feet tall, have been distributed for free. This is also a part of the one-crore saplings plantation initiative undertaken by the department.
Sprawled over 525 acres, the Turahalli state forest is closed for the public. But the Turahalli minor forest, spread across 597 acres, is open to the citizens.
The two forests are divided by residential spaces, including the Banashankari 6th Stage layout, created by the Bangalore Development Authority. Only last year, the forest department recovered eight acres and 18 acres of encroached spaces in the minor and state forest patches. Pratima Seetur, a member of RR Nagar I-Care, said: “This forest patch is in the vicinity of Rajarajeshwarinagar. Not many know that this is also a forest area and a primary lung space with wildlife and biodiversity. We are working closely with the forest department to protect the patch.”