Hundreds gathered against the state's plan to ‘shrink’ the walkway to build 6 flyovers around the national park.

Makes no sense to cut trees and build flyovers Citizens in Hyd protest at KBR park
news Protest Sunday, December 23, 2018 - 15:43

Scores of Hyderabad citizens gathered at the Kasu Brahmananda Reddy (KBR) National Park on Sunday morning and protested against the Telangana government's Strategic Road Development Plan (SRDP), which aims to construct six multi-layer flyovers around the city’s largest lung space. The protest also comes just days after at least 10 trees were axed down in the national park along the park’s walkway.

Those who gathered included people from all walks of life and a large number of school students. A postcard campaign was also held, where protestors wrote their details and posted it to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). They also handed out postcards to morning walkers to write a message to the Centre and the state government.

“Our service centre for the tired lungs and a lifeline for all the species. Let us work towards preserving the park at all costs. Leave it as it is,” one regular walker at the park wrote on his postcard.

“KBR park is synonymous with greenery, forests and nature. We must protect the pride of Jubilee Hills and Hyderabad. Do not encroach our oxygen reserve and the green lungs of the city,” another wrote.

The protestors said that the SRDP would result in a drastic ‘shrinking’ of the walkway, which is part of the Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ) of the national park. Since the project was proposed, activists moved the Hyderabad High Court and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and managed to get a stay order on work being carried out at the park.

After the postcard campaign, many activists spoke against the SRDP and pointed out that KBR was a huge carbon sink that absorbed a large amount of pollutants from the area around it.

“The long-term solution is for us to use public transport and plant more trees and ensure that the existing green cover is as it is. Doesn’t make any sense to cut trees and build concrete flyovers,” one protestor said.

As part of the SRDP, six junctions were to be developed at various locations, including KBR Park entrance, Jubilee Hills checkpost, Film Nagar junction, Jubilee Hills Road No. 45, Maharaja Agrasen junction (Banjara Hills Road No. 12) and Cancer Hospital junction (Banjara Hills Road No. 10).

Earlier this week, activists in Hyderabad also started an online petition to ‘Save KBR Park’ as a 60-day period to raise objections with the MoEF against the axing of trees in the walkway is set to end soon.

"This proposal for a drastic reduction, of already shrunk ESZ, is a step that completely negates the objectives and principles of the ESZ. This revised proposal of a zone ranging from 3 metres to 29.8 metres does not reflect the actual condition and status of KBR Park. This revised proposal is primarily to help in allowing construction of multi-level flyovers, which would destroy the very existence of the Park. It appears that the government in general, and Forest Department in particular, is treating this as a land bank to release periodically for commercial exploitation, not as a land of ecological and environmental importance," the petition on Change.org reads.

Activists have also started a website for the same purpose.

 

 

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