To Deputy conservator of forests
Deputy Conservator of Forest
Karnataka Forest Department
1. Extend the deadline for submitting objections on Hebbal-Nagawara Valley Project
2. Do not approve cutting of more than 6000+ trees for Hebbal-Nagawara Valley Project
3.Consult experts to ensure lake rejuvenation does not come at the cost of the ecology of the area.
Amidst the pandemic, Bangalore Forest Department is once again inviting objections to be sent for the axing of more than 6316 trees in Singanayakanahalli to make way for a lake under the Hebbal-Nagawara Valley Project. It is home to peacocks belonging to schedule 1 under the Wildlife Protection act (1972), apart from a rich biodiversity consisting of foxes, snakes, birds, and insects.
Why destroy an ecosystem to create a new one? Citizens and environmentalists are angry. Angry over the Minor Irrigation Department’s proposal to clear over 6,000 trees, especially in the midst of a pandemic. Lake experts are of the opinion that lake rejuvenation can happen without cutting such a huge amount of trees. Time is needed for such plans to be presented.
According to a recent notification by the Forest Department, 6,316 trees have been proposed to be felled to make way for the development of Singanayakanahalli lake, as they are in the way of the project. The notification, published on June 14, has invited objections via email or post within 10 days of its publication.
The Hebbal-Nagawara Valley Project aims to fill 65 tanks in Bengaluru Urban, Rural and Chickballapur. Last February, Bagaluru lake became the first to receive treated water from the project and was meant to act as an impounded reservoir to supply water to 11 other lakes in the region. Though direct use of treated water for drinking and agricultural purposes has been prohibited, farmers in the area were largely optimistic of the project pushing up the water table.
Just last month more than 3000 people expressed their concern about sending objections on tree cutting for upcoming metro projects. Citizens have repeatedly mentioned that amidst the lockdown it is not possible to survey large tracts of land and give constructive objections to a project.