Siddaramaiah, Karnataka Chief Minister, and KJ George, Minister for Bengaluru Development and Town Planning
Realising the catastrophic implications of its proposed amendment to the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act of 1976, the Karnataka government, on Wednesday, withdrew the bill, suo motu.
The Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act (KPTA) is a wonderful law that protects our state's green cover, by ensuring that public permission is sought before the government decides to fell trees.
Now, lawmakers are attempting to make changes to the KPTA so that they will no longer need permission before chopping down over 50 species of trees. If this amendment goes through, we stand to lose over 800 of Bengaluru's trees, which provide us shade, purify the air and add to the city's many charms.
Why is this important?
Chopping down trees to make way for development can have devastating environmental and ecological consequences. Bengaluru has already been reeling under increasing air pollution and any further loss of green cover is bound to drive up the Sulphur dioxide and particulate matter levels. This can give rise to asthma and other serious respiratory illness.
If this amendment goes through, it would give KJ George, Bangalore's Development Minister, the power to fell nearly 852 trees to build a steel flyover in the city.
Jhatkaa.org members like you have been among the thousands of citizens who have come together in the past to protect our city’s trees from being axed for poorly planned infrastructure projects. This amendment, if approved, will leave very little room for us to rally for our trees, as the government will not be obliged to ask for public consultation before chopping these trees.
We have only till February 28 to raise our voices and stop this very convenient change in the KPTA law. If enough of us stand with Karnataka’s trees, we can convince KJ George and CM Siddaramaiah to withdraw this dangerous amendment.
We’ve done it before. We can do it again.