Submitted by alvin on Fri, 2016-09-23 19:08 Bengaluru: Green activists hugged trees on Nrupatunga Road on Friday to save them from being axed for the TenderSURE project.Geetha Menon, an environment activist, was one of the several who participated in the ‘Appiko Chaluvali’. Criticising the BBMP, she said cutting trees would only heat-up the city even more. "These trees are huge and give shade. The BBMP has already cut few trees at Jayanagar and is ready to cut 18 trees at Nrupatunga Road. This will lead to serious environmental issues and this particular road will turn into a hot island," she said. Vinay Srinivas of Hasiru Usiru slammed the BBMP for not taking permission from the Tree Committee. "As per the rules, the BBMP has to take permission from the tree committee before cutting down more than fifty trees. Under the Tender Sure project in Phase 1 and Phase 2, the city has lost more than fifty trees but BBMP has not taken any permission till now," he said.Kshithij Urs, Co-Convener, Urban Commons and Governance, termed the laying of pavements under the project “unscientific”. “We are not against footpaths, but not through Tender Sure project which will be replicated in 50 existing roads and this would mean cutting of over 1000 trees."Vinay also claimed that the project had been “mired in controversy” as Janaagraha's Swathi Ramanathan was behind the planning and execution of the project which wasn’t discussed in a public forum. “Swathi Ramanathan, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and others got the project file cleared in less than hour at a breakfast meeting with Sadananda Gowda when he was the CM. Now the Congress government is implementing the foolish project," he said, adding that the 12 roads were being laid at a cost of Rs201cr which was a huge sum of money.However, Appu Rao, Deputy Conservator of Forest, BBMP, rubbished allegations of timber lobby forcing the BBMP’s hand. "The BBMP got the request from project promoters for cutting the trees. The trees are old and most of them are rain trees which may fall during strong winds. Hence, we have identified only those trees that could be a danger to human life. There is no timber lobby," he said.The activists have submitted a memorandum to Mayor Manjunath Reddy and BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad, but there has been no positive response so far.Hence, the activists have decided to stage a protest before the BBMP office on September 27.