Some alumni and around 50 students from a government school in Bengaluru have started a chipko movement against the alleged cutting of trees on their school premises. The Bengaluru civic has allegedly proposed to cut down around 40 trees inside the school premises because of a road-widening project. The students have voiced that this would affect the greenery of the campus and are reminiscent of the 1970s Chipko Andolan or Chipko movement, students of a government school in Karnataka’s Bengaluru against BBMP’s (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) Proposal. Jindal Jubilee Government Highschool’s 40 trees that are to be axed have no compensatory action that has been announced. Engineers and officials have been frequenting the campus and have allegedly marked the trees that need to be cut.

The Chipko Andolan of the 1970s was not new to the state of Karnataka as it had inspired and led the villagers of Uttara Kannada to start Appiko (meaning to hug in Kannada) where the residents of Salkani tried to protest against the felling of trees in the Kalse forest region in 1983.

There have been reports that a video message was recorded to chief minister Basavaraj Bommai to prevent the felling of these trees. The BBMP is planning to widen the Abbigere Main road, and it is said that 20 feet of school ground will be lost, which means 40 fully grown trees on the periphery will have to be cut. It has also been recorded that officials had never tampered with the greenery around the school earlier. The BBMP joint commissioner of the zone, Mr Narasimha Murthy, has confirmed that the project is being headed by the Manor Road Department. He has also quoted that there have been no discussions regarding the felling of trees and also specified that there have been no complaints pertaining to the protest.

Shashi A

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