Students and alumni of the Jindal Jubilee Government High School in Bengaluruâ€™s Dasarahalli staged a protest against the alleged tree cutting by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for road widening, according to reports. Nearly 50 students and a few alumni started the Appiko Movement (Kannada version of Chipko movement) and hugged the 40 trees which purportedly will be cut for the road widening project in Abbigere, reported Indian Express. The report quoted students saying that Engineers and officials have been frequenting the campus and have marked trees that allegedly will be cut.
The Chipko Andolan of the 1970s had prompted villagers of Uttara Kannada to start Appiko (Kannada word for hugging) wherein residents of Salkani tried to protest tree felling in Kalse forest in September 1983.
A report in The Hindu stated that the students recorded a video message to Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to prevent the tree from felling. The report quoted an alumnus of the institution saying that the BBMP is planning to widen Abbigere main road and as per the information they received 20 feet of the school ground will also be lost in the project. The alumnus further told the publication that it would mean 40 full-grown trees on the periphery will have to be cut. He said that the studentsâ€™ demand from the CM is to visit the campus and prevent tree felling.
The Indian Express quoted an alumnus saying that the officials had never tampered with the greenery around the school unlike now. He alleged that the civic body of Bengaluru is trying to axe trees in the name of a road-widening project.
Narasimha Murthy, the BBMP Joint Commissioner of Dasarahalli zone, said that the project is being headed by the Major Roads Department. He also was quoted in the reports saying that there have been no discussions on the felling of trees and that their office had not received any complaint pertaining to the protest.
TNM tried to contact the concerned officials from BBMP, however, they were not reachable.