Bengaluru is having its own Chipko moment as students and alumni of a government school in the city staged a protest against the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike's (BBMP) decision to axe around 40 trees on its campus for road widening. The students of Jindal Jubilee Government High School situated at Dasarahalli in north Bengaluru also released a video for Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, requesting him to ask the civic body to revoke its decision.
According to The India Express report, the civic body has proposed to chop off nearly 40 fully grown trees near the school ground for the road-widening project in the Abbigere area in the Dasarahalli zone to connect to the Chikkabanavara area.
However, the decision has not gone down well with everyone. On Thursday, September 9, around 50 students and a few alumni members gathered and held the 'Appiko movement' (Kannada version of the movement. They raised slogans and hugged trees that are more than 20 years old. They said that this would severely affect the environment and the greenery of the campus. Preethi, a student of the school told the newspaper that many engineers and BBMP officials visited the school for the past few days and marked the trees to be cut down.
Dileep, an alumnus, said that he was shocked to learn about the civic body's decision because he and his seniors had been protecting the trees for years. Many of them had planted the sapling.
Another student, Dhanush, said the importance of trees, their benefits to human beings is the foremost reason for their protest, and they expect the local administration to understand the same. "After Covid-19, we know the value of oxygen with people spending thousands of rupees for oxygen. But here, the government is cutting down the trees which provide natural oxygen," he was quoted as saying.
BBMP Dasarahalli Zone Joint Commissioner Narasimhamurthy told the media that they didn't receive any complaint from the students or anyone else on their decision and were unaware of the protest, but assured they would check with other officials.
The Chipko mvement was a non-violent forest conservation movement in the mid 70s in the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand.