Locals on Wednesday staged a protest against Karnataka government's plan to construct a tree park inside Turahalli, which is believed to be one of the last remaining forests in the outskirts of capital city Bengaluru. The protestors gathered outside the Turahalli forest area and demanded BS Yediyurappa-led government to withdraw its plan.
"There is a tree park already adjacent to the forest area. This park of around 40 acres was developed, several saplings planted to ensure nobody enters the main forest area. What is the need for a tree park inside this forest now?," asked Joseph Hoover, a wildlife activist, who was also a part of the protest.
The locals first gathered on Tuesday morning when they spotted an earth mover in the forest area and immediately informed the forest officer and the local police.
The United Conservation Movement, a campaign to initiate, sustain and grow action for conserving the Western Ghats and other forest areas of Karnataka has written a letter to the forest department, appealing to withdraw its decision to develop a tree park in the reserved forest area.
"The mini forest is the abode of more than 120 species of birds, many species of small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, bees and wasps. We also have seen spotted deer and wild boar make a visit to this part of the forest. In the name of tree park heavy machinery is being used to destroy the secondary forests," reads the letter, adding, "The forest is also at risk from garbage dumping, which exposes wildlife to various risks, including contracting diseases. Besides, this results in contamination of soil and water."
Moreover, a group of activists is set to submit a representation to the Karnataka government if the plan continues.