Karnataka gives in to protesters, puts Turahalli tree park project on hold
- Forest minister Arvind Limbavali said the government had decided to temporally stop the tree park (project) in the Turahalli reserve forest area.
The Karnataka government on Wednesday announced that it has temporarily halted the controversial tree park project in Turahalli reserve forest area, on the outskirts of Bengaluru, that aims to develop the 400 acres of land into a tree park, and has evoked large scale protests over the last one month.
Forest minister Arvind Limbavali, who visited Turahalli on Tuesday, said: “Local MLA[member of legislative assembly] S T Somshekar and I visited Turahalli forest. We heard the grievances of the people and have decided to temporally stop the tree park (project). We are thinking of shifting the park from here to another place. We have instructed the officers to fence the property.”
On Tuesday evening, the forest minister’s office confirmed the development to HT and said that the final decision will be taken after consulting Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa. Turahalli is located in south Bengaluru, 20 km off Kanakapura road.
Vijetha Sanjay, a resident of the area, said that more than 200 people have been protesting the government’s decision since the first week of February.
“Ever since we saw earthmovers near the forest, we have been protesting the move. We have written to the Prime Minister, organised a walkathon and kept watch of any development near the forest. The government’s decision is big for those who campaigned to save the forest,” she said. The park is part of the government’s Mission 2020 plan to develop 132 tree parks across the city.