Hyderabad: Hundreds of residents, locals, and environmental activists gathered near Sadhana Infinity International School on Thursday morning to protest against the chopping of trees in Nallagandla-Tellapur road. The protestors are aiming to garner the attention of the concerned authorities to the matter. Marking Children’s Day, even students joined the protest along with their parents.

After authorities fell 130 trees for a road expansion project in Hyderabad, the residents decided to protest it. Reportedly, the chopped trees on Nallagandla-Tellapur road were 20-30 years old.

Citizens with a hashtag of #SaveNallagandlaTrees raised their voice against the tree felling in Nallagandla. With hundreds of chopped trees around the protest site, citizens raised slogans like ‘Save Nallagandla’, ‘Save Trees’, ‘Stop Killing Trees’, ‘No Swatch Bharat Without Clean Air’, ‘Eco over Ego’, etc.

While speaking to NewsMeter, resident Matta Suresh, “The authorities chopped down 30-year-old trees for a road expansion project, and they are trying to translocate them. We all know what happened in Delhi and how people are suffering from pollution levels there. We don‘t want Hyderabad to become the same in the future. We are requesting the government to stop chopping the trees in Nallagandla. The traffic is limited at this stretch, so there is no need of cutting down trees and translocating it.”

Abhishek Mahajan, a resident of Manjeera Diamond Towers, told NewsMeter that the rapid urbanisation and concretisation happening to this lovely city is going to make us another Bengaluru, Chennai or Delhi. We already have so many issues because of this unplanned growth and sheer disregard to the importance of green cover. Look at the water shortage we have.”

On the topic of road expansions, he asked if the government had seen the traffic discipline in the city. “If they can resolve that and instil fear of law and rules, then I am sure that Hyderabad can do well with its roads. Addressing the congestion they talk about, where are the lanes on the roads?”

Abhishek further added that we have different widths on the same road. “Traffic police is useless. Address that, as well as water and real estate mafia. We have so many offices and building complexes. Do we need them? Where is the public transport that can decongest roads? How could you plan metro and not have Gachibowli and other areas in the first place? It‘s just bad planning and nothing else. We are using this as an excuse to make money and not think about sustainability. We need to change it. We need the government to think beyond short term gains and look at long-term losses. It‘s time we will never return,” he said.

Meanwhile, Uday Peddireddy, founder of Vata Foundation,said “Hyderabad has been losing most of its fully-grown trees, making way for development. Even though we do have a Tree Protection Committee (TPC), it is not performing its duty diligently. It has ended up getting rid of most our fully-grown trees for Metro Project, SRDP, HRDC etc. For example, in an SRDP project, over 320+ trees were affected. The TPC recommended felling 300+ trees, and Vata Foundation had to translocate all of the trees.”

Anusha Puppala

Anusha Puppala is currently working at NewsMeter. She had earlier worked as a reporter with ANI and The News Minute. Previously, she has worked as a Senior Reporter with the Deccan Chronicle Newspaper, covering education beat. She had briefly associated with the national television channel Tiranga TV as a special correspondent. Anusha has extensively written stories on education, traffic, civic-issues, human-Interesting, off-Beat, consumer issues, health and environment. Hailing from Visakhapatnam, Anusha is a social media buff and a passionate foodie. If not reporting, you will always find her travelling.

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