ESG Meeting…for Hebbal Lake, against indiscriminate tree-felling

Each of us must have read in today’s newspaper ….about how 6 full-grown trees were felled, with one government agency saying that they were a saftety hazard, and another citing road-widening. We seem to be inteent on destroying as many trees as possible in the name of progress, without a thought to the ultimate cost to the city and its people.

We are also aware of the candle-light vigil to mark our protest against the privatization of Hebbal Lake; this would be a blow to other surviving water bodies in Bangalore, too.

Yesterday, I received an email from Environment Support Group (ESG) through another egroup that I belong to, proposing a meeting to discuss both issues.

Here’s the body of the email:


Dear All,

Please find enclosed an invitation from the DCF (Tree Officer) Bruhat
Blore Mahanagara Palike for a meeting that will decide the “removal” of
trees for the Metro project and “developmental activities in BBMP
area”. In some ways it is a small victory of sorts, as this meeting is
called despite the BBMP having issued orders to fell trees in Sheshadri
Road, Palace Road, etc. A joint inspection by the Engineering Staff of
BBMP (Road Widening division) and Tree Officer of BBMP along with ESG
and CIVIC representatives, has probably resulted in this new thinking to
consult the wide public.

There is something very important to notice in the letter however: the
description includes almost every tree in public and private lands in
Bangalore city area. We need to have a formal, prepared and effective
response to these proposals. The meeting is scheduled for Friday 24th
August 2007, and it is a very important forum for us to utilise and
bring some rationale and sense into the ongoing tree felling efforts
(contrast this with the tree growing efforts of the government of the

This evening (21st August, Tuesday) some of us are meeting at ESG to
discuss next steps on the ongoing controversy to privatise Hebbal and
other tanks and public spaces. Considering that most actors who are
involved in protecting tanks/lakes and public spaces are also concerned
about trees in Blore, I request those of you who can make it to please
come to ESG for the meeting.

Kindly spare no thought or effort to attend these planning meeting, even
if at short notice, as we are really running out of time. It is the
planning meetings that give strength to our larger public actions.

Planning Meeting:


Environment Support GroupĀ®
105, East End ‘B’ Main Road
Jayanagar 9th Block East
Bangalore – 560069.
Tel: 91-80-22441977/26531339
Email: or

*Time*: 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm

Map to reach ESG:

Please call 22441977 to confirm you will participate in the planning

Thank you for your understanding and potential participation.


Leo F. Saldanha
Environment Support Group


The original email from the BBMP was this:


Subject: :SPAM: Meeting Notice
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 05:25:26 +0100 (BST)
From: Deputy Conservator of Forests forests


No/DCF/PR- /07-08 Office of the
Deputy Conservator of Forest
Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike
Bangalore. Dated: 17-08-07

Sri /Smt

* *
*Sub*:- Review of removal of Trees for road widening and for
* *Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.

A meeting is convened *on **24-08-07 at 11.30 am* in the meeting hall
No-1 of BBMP. The agenda of the meeting is as below.
1. Removal of trees for widening of road as per the instructions of Govt.
2. Removal of trees obstructing Metro rail Corporation works.
3. Removal of trees for developmental activities in BBMP area.
You are requested to attend the meeting and to offer your valuable
suggestions in the matter.
Your truly

Deputy Conservator of Forest
Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike

*Copy with complements communicated to:**-***
* *
1. The Executive Engineer, (road works) Bangalore with request to attend
the meeting on the said date.


Since both issues are close to my heart, I decided to go and attend.

I found a group of worried citizens who had gathered, and were discussing the implications of the letter and also deciding to have a press conference tomorrow, to address these issues. These are people like you and me, who want to do something about these worries before it is too late. They adopt a pragmatic, reasonable attitude, and are not interested in sloganeering or quick fixes.

Here are some of them at yesterday’s meeting:

EGS...meeting of concerned citizens

EGS...meeting of concerned citizens

This was not a groujp of people only from ESG; ESG was only the venue for a number of citizens to come together to discuss ways and means.

Two meetings are now planned:

!. A Press Conference has been organized, at the Press Club, Cubbon Park, tomorrow, 23rd of August, between 11 and 11.30 am, to make known to the media the concerns that the citizens of Bangalore have about the privatization of Hebbal Lake, and the implications of indiscriminate tree-felling in the city.

2. As many people as can attend, would make a massive show at the meeting asked for by the BBMP, which is at the Meeting Hall no 1, BBMP, at N R Square, between 11 and 11.30 am, on Friday, the 24th August.

A good show of strength would go a long way to convince BBMP that many citizens are against their plans for the city’s trees and water bodies, and would give them pause in their activities, which we feel is for short-sighted gain at the cost of the long-term health of our city..

So please, do come over and be present at both places, at the times and dates menioned, and let us show our solidarity with the cause of keeping the greenery and water bodies of Bangalore intact and pristine.

For further information, contact:

Environment Support GroupĀ®
105, East End ‘B’ Main Road
Jayanagar 9th Block East
Bangalore – 560069.
Tel: 91-80-22441977/26531339
Email: or

2 Comments so far

  1. Ravi (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2007 @ 5:39 pm

    ESG! I admire the way they stopped the destruction of Handigundi, a natural habitat for many rare animals and birds.

    Is it possible to involve them in Anti-Thermal Power Station protest in Mysore, the proposed site in Chamalapura is a very fertile cultivated land and is only few miles(less than 20 miles!) away from Nagarahole and Bandipur sanctuaries! Just think about effects of having a thermal power station in a place like that!

    All we seek is to shift that power station from there to some place in rocky parts of Central Karnataka like Davanagere where there is hardly any vegetation and ample of groundwater is available for the power generation plant.

  2. tarlesubba (unregistered) on August 24th, 2007 @ 8:03 am

    thanks deepavare for this write up.

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