Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Save Turahalli Forest

Save Turahalli Forest

Imagine walking through a forest, listening to the sounds of  chirping birds and just revelling in the beauty of the  tall trees and wild grass,, rivulets, and more.. This is pretty much how the Turahalli Reserve Forest is. Its serenity can easily capture hearts. 

 

But if we don’t act now, this serenity will be lost forever.

The Chief Minister of Karnataka  B.S. Yediyurappa announced Mission 2022 for Bengaluru in December 2020. In a bid to restructure the city is a plan to downgrade its only remaining forest, Turahalli Reserve forest  and turn it into a  ’ ‘Mega Tree Park’ — under the garb of  “development”.   The government has proposed 400 acres of the protected forest land for downgrading, with the intention of opening it up for the general public.

A Tree Park is proposed to provide access to experience nature (natural and man-made), with amenities including 10kms walkway/path, entry arch on one side, toilets, canteen, parking lot, children’s play area, senior citizen’s gym, and yoga sites. 

Why a Tree Park is a bad idea

Have you heard or read about the sightings of leopards in the city? Do you wonder why animals are treading into apartment complexes and causing fear among the residents? 

What is the cause of this human-wildlife conflict? Over the years, the forest area around Bangalore has shrunk, leaving minimal space for wildlife creatures to thrive comfortably.

Here’s more reason to preserve the biodiversity of Turahalli

The forest is home to more than 120 species of birds, more than 29 species of butterflies, many species of small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, bees and wasps. There have been instances of spotted deer and wild boar making a visit to this part of the forest. All these species of wildlife are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. These species would not thrive in a tree park as their natural habitat would be impacted. 

The site is also the breeding and nesting ground of peacocks. As our national bird, peacock enjoys the utmost level of legal protection under Section 51 (1-A) of Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. Their breeding and nesting grounds could be lost forever, causing them to perish locally.

The site has a unique dry deciduous floral diversity with more than 1.5 lakh trees in the site, an excellent site for carbon sequestration.

The site has a unique dry deciduous floral diversity with more than 1.5 lakh trees in the site, an excellent site for carbon sequestration.

Image credit: Natasha pilLai

The site has a unique dry deciduous floral diversity with more than 1.5 lakh trees in the site, an excellent site for carbon sequestration.

What has happened so far

17 January 2021:

Members of CleanUp Turahalli meet CMKR (Changemakers for Kanakapura Road) Team.

 

23 January 2021:

 

Meet up with Mr. Yellappa Reddy (Former PCCF) – Asked to file RTIs seeking DPR and complete plan.

25 January 2021:

Citizens came together under the banner of  #SaveTurahalli.  

28 January 2021:

A quick representation was made to the local MLA (ST Somashekhar), who at the moment was not aware of the project and promised to meet the citizens about the issue.

31 January 2021:

JCB Work inside the forest spotted, who did not have any written work order.

Volunteers meet up at the Tree Park to discuss the next moves.

 

01 February 2021:

 

Meeting with the DCF and the ACF in the Turahalli Tree Park – Inconclusive comments by the DCF and ACF on the status of the proposed mega tree park.

 

An online presence for the #SaveTurahalli campaign created on Twitter and Instagram.

02 February 2021:

Volunteers protest in front of the Turahalli Minor Forest Gate drawing a lot of media attention to the Turahalli issue.

Three continuous days of protest in front of the forest gate. JCB work stopped.

Lot more volunteers join the #SaveTurahalli Campaign.

03 February:

Meeting with the PCCF, Mr. Sanjai Mohan, at Aranya Bhavan – Volunteers from across the city concerned for Turahalli join in and collectively reject the Tree Park proposal made at the meeting.

 

04 February:

 

Kickstart of the online Campaign in partnership with Jhatkaa.org, within 12 hours of launching the campaign more than 5000 people joined the campaign. 

12000+ signatures

06 February:

Meeting with the representatives from neighbourhood communities, environmentally concerned groups and nature lovers to hear views and discuss the way forward.

 

Planned a massive silent protest in the form of a walkathon (14 February).

 

14 February:

With support from the Police Department (Traffic and Crime), Volunteers and RWAs, a massive walkathon is conducted along the boundaries of Turahalli Minor Forest, Tree Park and the BDA Sculpture Park. 

 

3000-3500 strong crowd turn up in solidarity with the #SaveTurahalli campaign.

A common message “Namage Tree Park Beda”, “let forest remain as forest”, “Save Turahalli” reverberated amongst thousands of children of Mother Nature who came together on a Sunday Morning to show their Care towards mother Nature and Concern towards Govt. of Karnataka’s plan to convert a thriving minor Forest Turahalli into a Tree park under its Bengaluru Mission 2022. 

A Walkathon along the boundaries of the forest was organized by concerned citizens from across Bengaluru who have come together under a common identity #SaveTurahalli. The motive of this collective of people is to create awareness on the importance and necessity of Forest and Green lung spaces, specifically about Turahalli Minor forest one of the last remaining vestiges of Forest in Bengaluru.

Citizens emphasised the petition demands to save the forest.

"We gave your generation a Forest to take care of and what are you going to give your kids? A natural forest to Admire and understand how nature thrives or a park and a concrete jungle in the name of development?1"
Senior Citizens
Bengaluru

 People of all age groups – 6 months to 80-year-olds, kids, teens, college students, youngsters, elders from different parts of Bengaluru came together and participated with great zeal and a strong determination to save the forest. It was a clear message from all – we care, we understand our responsibility, we will save the Forest and we are with #SaveTuralli in this endeavor. Many of the participants were connected to Turahalli forest in various ways over the last many decades – be it Planting new saplings, watering the plants, helping in case of forest fires, cleaning wastes littered around or just sighting the majestic Peacocks that is available in plenty here.

 One of the main themes of this event was zero waste, as promised the participants ensured that there is no littering at all. It was heartening to see a few participants involving themselves in a plog run to collect trash during their run. Bananas were provided as energy boosters after the run. A few participants took the banana peels for making organic liquid fertilizers for the plants. The awareness to not litter and keep the environment clean was another way to show that we Care.

The event would not have been possible without the able support of our Police department and we are very thankful for their support and contribution for this cause.

 We would like to wholeheartedly thank hundreds of volunteers for toiling hard and making this happen in such a short span of time and believing in our Common cause. This was a celebration of people coming together peacefully reassuring Mother Nature that – We are here for you.

Our fight continues and we need your support.  Sign the petition now and help us spread the message

What's your reaction?
0Love0Like0Not Good

Leave a comment