Want to help?

What's New


ESG has produced a number of films and other publications that can be purchased.

Join Us

Volunteers and interns are always welcome and needed.

Hasire Usiru

Campaign to Reclaim Bangalore's Commons

In the Media

November 10, 2008. Citizens bemoan the state of Garden City - The Times of India

10 Nov 2008, 0328 hrs IST,TNN

BANGALORE: The gathering of around 800 people had a single agenda: reclaim Bangalore from development that comes at the expense of environment and heritage. They walked from Lalbagh to Town Hall on Sunday, raising slogans and holding placards. Bangaloreans of all ages gathered to protest against widening of roads, felling of trees and the demolition of landmark structures to make way for Namma Metro.

By 10 am, hundreds had gathered at the west gate of Lalbagh. The crowd included people who are set to lose their houses and shops to the Namma Metro project, apart from environmentalists and activists. They walked as part of an initiative by Hasiru Husiru Network.

Divya Ravindranath, a researcher with Environment Support Group (ESG), said the walk focussed on widening of roads and other projects started without taking citizens into confidence. "People don't have a forum for their opinion. Most of the projects that are underway are illegal and today, people from different parts of the city have come together in protest against these projects,'' she explained.

The Hasiru Husiru network had sent a petition to chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, protesting the road-widening, a project that costs Rs 4,000 crore, and the Namma Metro project for which parts of Lalbagh and Lakshman Rao park have been acquired.

Many of those who participated in the protest said trees need not be felled unnecessary. "The trees have been here for long and we are not ready to compromise them,'' said Prashantha Bhatt.

Rise in private transport

There were cyclists as well, slamming the rampant felling of trees in the city, which in turn encourages more people to use private transport. "Cycling in Bangalore is less appealing now because it's too sunny to cycle and dehydration is another issue. Instead, the government should be increasing fuel prices and subsidizing public transport fares,'' said Mayank Rungta, who belongs to a cycling group.

Sushanth Jain, holding a placard that said `save our heritage zones', said Lalbagh should be identified as a heritage zone. "Bangalore, also known as the Garden City, does not deserve the name anymore,'' said Neelu Jethani, another participant. Most of the walkers said BBMP is trying to change the way the city looks but not for the better.

Another issue brought up was the construction of Namma Metro. According to Prahlad Rao, the metro rail is not worth the cost it will put on us, such as demolition of important buildings and shops. Shruti Prasad felt metro should be made underground, thus avoiding chaos and helping preserve trees. The organizers said a meeting will be held on this matter on November 29.

Original article

ESG is an independent not-for-profit organisation that promotes the cause of environmental and social justice through research, documentation, advocacy, training and campaign support. We aim to support the rights of local communities and voiceless ecosystems in a responsible, progressive manner that keeps contextual complexities in mind.

Email us for information on joining Hasire Usiru. More material is available on the Hasiru Usiru website.

Hasire Usiru in the news

About Newsrack

Join our mailing lists