Activists hold funeral rituals to protest tree killing
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Activists hold funeral rituals to protest tree killing

March 2, 2021

Complaint to be lodged with National Green Tribunal

Mysore/Mysuru: A group of environment-conscious activists from city performed funeral rituals to a 40-year-old fully grown peepal tree that was axed near Ganapati Temple, BEML Layout in Srirampura near Muninarayanappa Layout this morning. They vented their ire at the Forest Department and resolved to lodge a complaint with the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The healthy tree which was 12 ft. in diameter was cut on Feb. 27 by Forest Department as the inmates of a house near the tree had complained that the roots of the tree was damaging the foundation of their house. Terming the felling of the tree inhuman and mindless over a silly reason, the activists decried the Forest Department move. 

Protesters from different organisations and groups including People’s Movement, Mysore Grahakara Parishat, Karnataka Sena Pade, Kukkarahalli Namma Kere-Namma Javabdari and Kadamba Sene participated in the protest. Observing death of the tree as the death of a human being, activists garlanded remaining stump of the tree and applied kumkum and vermillion to it. A slogan, “Humans are responsible for my death” was painted on the tree remains and as the rituals progressed, several of them got emotional and regretted that the Forest Department that had the responsibility of protecting the trees was cutting them for trivial reasons.

Addressing protesters, activist Bhamy V. Shenoy said, to prevent roots from damaging the house, a concrete wall could be built to prevent the intruding roots instead of cutting the fully-grown and a 40-year-old tree. “We will lodge a complaint with NGT to censure Forest Dept. and the Range Forest Officer of the area for this mindless act,” he said. 

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Retired scientist Usha Subramanya, who had worked in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for over 30 years, said that trees are being cut every other day due to bad planning. “The reason for cutting this tree is ridiculous. If the same trend continues, Mysuru will undoubtedly become another Bengaluru that is bursting at its seams,” she said, demanding action against the officer who cleared the tree cutting.

Other activists who spoke on the occasion suggested that environment-conscious citizens must unite and prevent any tree-cutting in the future. It is important to protest before any tree is cut and there is no use in agitating after the damage is done, they felt. 

Activists Srikanth Koti, K.S. Venkatesh of Clean Mysuru Foundation, Mrs. Ghose of CFTRI Layout, Shivakumar of Kadamba Sene, Lokesh Tejas Gowda of Karnataka Sena Pade, Malavika Gubbaivani of Aam Aadmi Party S. Shobana, Sumana and others were present. 

As soon as the event was over, activists gathered near another peepal tree that was chopped off in the same Muninarayanappa Layout, leaving behind huge trunk. Saddened by this, activists launched an ‘Appiko Chaluvali’ where they hugged the tree trunk to express their anger.

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