Now foreigners bat for ‘Save Bandipur’

Now foreigners bat for ‘Save Bandipur’

People from overseas expressing their support for the protest against the elevated road through Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Chamarajanagar.

The burgeoning protest against the Centre’s proposed elevated corridor cutting through the Bandipur Tiger Reserve is fast reaching a crescendo.

Staging a successful protest in a big way at the Maddur Gate of the Tiger Reserve last week, the like-minded group is flooded with support from overseas. Even before the like-minded group of activists and citizens under the banner ‘Save Bandipur’ are planning to stage a similar protest in Bengaluru on November 10th, people from Germany, France, South Africa, Italy, Sweden and Turkey have been lending support for the cause and signing the petition. Add to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy has assured government support to the cause.

Several foreign nationals have expressed their support to the protests holding placards and chanting slogans against the proposed flyover. Convenors of the Save Bandipur campaign told DH that meticulous campaign using catchy slogans online has resulted in getting a flood of support from overseas. “Many of our volunteers have been networking on social media with popular hashtags like #bandipurforever, #nighttrafficbeda, #noelevatedhighway and #peopleforbandipur. Further, it is a citizen movement with people from different walks of life expressing their support and solidarity with the cause.”

Valentina, a citizen of Italy, sent a message, “I had visited Bandipur early this year. I read in the media that there is a proposal to lift the ban on traffic inside the park and build a highway and people are protesting. I support the campaign and if there is any way to support the campaign from abroad, I am for it.”

Sharing details of support, Joseph Hoover, Convenor of Save Bandipur said, “The reports and images of the protests have gone viral. People from overseas who had visited Bandipur during their stay in India and bewitched by its beauty, have come together and stood by our cause. People from all corners of the world are sending in their wishes. In the meantime, what is even more worrying is that setting up of toll booth just 3 km before the Maddur Gate check post suggesting that the Centre will have its way through regardless of the protests.”

Reiterating the stand of activists and other voluntary organisations, Chief Minister of Karnataka on Monday tweeted, “Many of our environmentalists and conversational organisations have protested against the Centre’s proposed elevated corridor cutting through Bandipur. The state government too opposes the elevated corridor project and committed to safeguarding the Bandipur and its ecology.”

The volunteers had staged the first protest in small numbers on October 11 in front of the Mysuru DC office followed by yet another protest on October 21 near the Melukamanahalli Gate of the Tiger Reserve. On 27 October, along with several other organisations from different parts of the state, the volunteers staged a day-long protest at the Maddur Gate check post on the Gundlupet (Karnataka)-Sultan Bathery (Kerala) Highway.