Submitted by alvin on Thu, 2017-02-02 09:27 Bengaluru: BBMP officials who had gone to cut a couple of trees near Kalasipalya bus stand had to beat a hasty retreat after public and members of Lokmata Ayappa Temple Trust refused to allow officials to cut down the trees. The BMTC had identified 19 trees, home to several birds, including thousands of parakeets, to be axed to kick-start the modernisation of the bus stand. But the temple trust objected to the move and submitted a letter to BMTC chief Ekroop Kaur and Appu Rao, Deputy Conservator of Forest, BBMP, to drop the plan a few days ago. But to the surprise of the shopkeepers, temple trust and devotees, BBMP officials arrived with machines on Wednesday to cut down the trees. Kumar, a resident of Kalasipalya and a member of the Lokamatha Ayyappa Temple Trust, said many of the trees were more than 50 years old. "We have grown up seeing the family of parakeets. Despite requesting officials, BBMP men came to fell these trees. We are not against development but we do not want these trees to be cut. Let them build a full-fledged bus stand with these trees," he said. Appu Rao, DCF, BBMP, said they had received a letter from BMTC to cut 19 trees but they rejected the demand. "We got a letter from the BMTC last month to fell 19 trees to build a bus stop, but I rejected it," said Rao. "I forwarded the letter to higher officials. The BMTC carried out another survey and decided to fell only a few trees. Today, they went to cut two trees but due to the protest they couldn't complete the task." Ekroop Kaur was not available for comment.