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Save 1,800 trees in Lalbagh from Bangalore Metro - Petition

On 16 March 2009, the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka issued a direction to all agencies involved in management and implementation of urban projects that they would "strictly follow" the provisions of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act and Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act (in WP No. 7107/2008, Environment Support and ors., vs State of Karnataka).

BMRCL is a respondent to this PIL and the order is binding to the agency.

Yet within weeks of this order, trees have been illegally felled over the past two weeks in Lalbagh and also on Lakshman Rao boulevard. Only timely action from Hasiru Usiru volunteers has prevented any further felling.

The BMRCL must please fully take the public into confidence and ensure public involvement in decisions relating to the Metro in full conformance with the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, as directed by the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka.

The media considers me as an enviromental, RTI and social activist. So, I've included this under the category as Action. Let this not be made a debateable issue as I'd be the last person to misuse any forum by wasting my precious time, energy and money.

silkboard's picture

How is this action?

How is a bunch of people, who may not even know the issue in detail, and may not even be residents of Bangalore, "signing" on an internet website action?

There are a few petitions on this matter now. which ones do a I sign, and which one do a I leave? Perhaps sign all of them?

You have listed following people as targets: Hon'ble Supreme Court, PM, MoUD, MoEF, Guv, CM, CS, BDA, BBMP, BMRC

Will someone print the petition (physical form) and hand over personally to all of above recipients? Or do you expect all of them to see 5-6 petitions sites and take action by themselves?

And why so many targets? why should the PM be involved in all issues all around the country? why BDA? they don't own anything around the MEtro work happening in Lalbagh?

Sorry Syed Tanveer. Not trying to give you a hard time. Just thinking how to make these online tools (petitions, this website itself) more meaningful. Without the last-mile and local "connect", I am afraid we all may be just "noise over Internet". All it needs is that last-mile connect - summarize the "noise", pass on to someone who can do something about it, and then track it to completion.

We are nowhere there yet, long ways to go. but we will try.

kanishkaRCML's picture

 Hi Silkboard,  Not sure

 Hi Silkboard, 

Not sure where Syed came up with so many targets, and not sure what he means by being the "sponsor" of this petition. This petition has been drafted by Hasiru Usiru - a collective of individuals and NGOs, so there is no individual sponsor. Further, it is directed towards *only* the Chief Minister of Karnataka and has a very specific objective. Rest assured, it will be printed, and along with physical signatures (of which we have collected many!) and internet based endorsements, it will be submitted to him shortly. 

Meanwhile, I would encourage everyone on this forum to read the original petition available here
to make themselves aware of some of the issues surounding the expansion of the Metro in the Southern Reach. There is more information at the Hasiru Usiru website ( If this campaign succeeds, we may pave the way for a deeper democratic process in developing Bangalore's infrastructure.. 

At Hasiru Usiru we are determined to take this campaign forward, and the petition is only one part of it. Understandably readers get the feeling of helplessness each time one signs a petition like this wondering "will it do any good". In this case, I would like to reassure readers, while results cannot be guaranteed, many people are working very hard to make sure the effort you spend reading and signing this petition does not go in vain. However, given the success of past campaigns (such as the recent reversal of lake privatization), we are optimistic..

silkboard's picture

Thanks Kanishka


Thanks for posting a reply. And no need to stress so much on "success" or "guaranteeing results". Activism is about following up on your causes and beleifs - success is not as important as getting down to doing things. As das and I were talking in a meeting last week, "run a campaign to cut trees, or one to save them, but please, have a trip in life, don't sit around watching things happen that you do not like."

My note to Syed Tanveer was to explain and understand the value of online petitions - how to design and make best use of them? We want to build a petition feature here that groups like yours (Hasiru Usiru) can use. But we certainly don't want to build a system where everyone, whether its you, me or Tanveer, can go create petitions without demonstrating serious understanding of issues and corresponding on-ground connect with the target or recipient of the petition.

About HU's campaign, more than the current flare up (about trees), I am watching the dabates (on HU email list) on "citizen involvement", "deeper democratic process" etc with interest.

Anyway, do share your updates here if you like, though we know you guys have eventually decided to build and manage your own website.


blrpraj's picture

why not underground

I haven't kept track of the bangalore metro construction. I have a question which probably has been answered before - why are they not going underground..below Lalbagh?  The immediate answer I guess would be cost..but I feel the long term cost of destruction of trees in Lalbagh would be far greater and we cannot really put a price(or rather cost) on those trees. Those trees are priceless. 

abidpqa's picture

Are they Eucalyptus trees

The Metro authorities are saying they are cutting Eucalyptus trees. Is that true?  If they are cutting only Eucalyptus trees that should be allowed because they are dangerous to the environment
srinidhi's picture

Yes they are Eucalyptus..

 Its not just about cutting the trees..its about encroaching into Lalbaugh that more concerning!

Anyways looks like the fight is about a loosing battle!

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Encroachment is the issue...Metro for whom?

Dear All

Whether the trees are Eucalyptus or not is not the issue.  It is a matter of concern for all citizens - today it is 1800 trees tomorrow it will be 18,000 trees and our children and grand children will have to suffer the highly volatile temperature  (expected to touch 37/38 degrees shortly by the Met Dept.) due to deforestation of environment. 

Another problem will be the population increase - Will the present Metro plan be able to meet the mad rush of 2020 and will there be a second parallel Metro to augment the present metro and will be there be destruction of flora and fauna of 1,80,000 trees by then? 

Metro - Nothing is impossible - Go underground (when you can do it in front of Vidhana Soudha and Majestic area) and let there be some Hasiru Usiru for posterity at Lal Bagh - you have already jacked up the cost from 3000 crores to Rs.9000 crores within a span of 3 years and cost of going underground with all the technology it may be worth the trouble and cost now itself and also plan to have a second tunnel with a service tunnel like the CHUNNEL between London and Paris (50.5 kms in 31.4 minutes).

- Vasanthkumar Mysoremath


kanishkaRCML's picture

Battle is not lost: High Court just issued a stay order

The Chief Minister making statements about the "inevitability" of tree-felling for the sake of the Metro does not legitimize it. We have just heard (a few minutes ago) that the High Court has issued a stay order on the entire Southern Reach of the Metro, including acquisition of private property, tree felling, encroachment of Lalbagh, etc. When details emerge, they will be posted on the Hasiru Usiru website.

Clearly in its wisdom, the court also believes something is wrong with the way the metro is bulldozing its way through South Bangalore.

Stay tuned.
abidpqa's picture

The better option is to

The better option is to ensure that they keep their word about only cutting Eucalyptus trees. Lalbagh is an open space in the city that should be utilized for the benefit of all. When metro comes there will be more places to plant more trees, and there will be less pollution.  To compensate for the trees cut in Lalbagh let us demand a bigger say 1000 acre park outside the city.  The town planning has not been implemented in this city properly because of multiple reasons. I think the cutting trees inevitable, but let us try stop people from cutting rare trees. That is my opinion.

srinidhi's picture

Trees are being what?

The trees in Lalbaugh and Nanda road are cut or are being what can be done now?

What about replanting trees..?

Extending the spoortivana concept..cant something be done for the city trees?

The HU's and ESG's can work more positively by making bangalore green..and have a goal like

'You cut one tree..we grow ten'

RV road itself has many places where saplings can be planted..why not do that? comment guidelines

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