The protest comes days after 25 trees were felled overnight to allegedly make space for a hoarding.

Bengaluru citizens environmentalists join hands to protest illegal tree chopping
news Environment Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 14:44

Even as the city was caught up in the political drama, citizens and environmental activists gathered to protest against illegal tree chopping in Bengaluru and demanded action against the offenders.

The protest was organised on Outer Ring Road in Bellandur on Saturday. The protesters were irked by recent incidents of illegal tree chopping, with the most recent being on May 9 when 25 trees were felled overnight allegedly to make space for a hoarding,

The trees clustered in Iblur junction were hacked to advertise a realty project -- Sobha Dream Acres. While the hoarding was taken down after a spot-check by BBMP Forest Cell officials, residents in the area once again raised alarm bells when they noticed that the hoarding was back up on May 18,

The incident followed several other incidents including a glaring incident in March 2018 in which 27 trees were chopped on the Outer Ring Road connecting Marathahalli and Chinnappanahalli for an iPhone 7 hoarding to be made visible.

Vijay Nishanth, tree doctor and activist, who was part of the protests claimed that the incidents were not isolated and were all linked to commercial hoardings. "An FIR has been filed by the Forest Cell of BBMP and further investigation will be carried out," he said.

Cholarajappa, DCFO, BBMP, confirmed that an FIR was registered against the individual who put up the hoarding. “We ensured that the hoarding was brought down. However, I heard that they have put it back again,” he said speaking to The Hindu.

Vijay Nishanth and Sunil Reddy, who first noticed the hacked trees in Iblur junction, are following the cases of unauthorised tree fellings with interest and are adamant that action should be taken against offenders. They added that in almost all cases, the trees were being felled to increase the visibility of advertising hoardings of private parties. 

They were joined by residents of surrounding areas including of Iblur, HSR Layout, Whitefield, Cox Town, Hebbal and JP Nagar. 

Also read: 25 trees butchered again in Bengaluru for just one hoarding to be visible

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