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Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) opposes the proposal to reduce Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ) of Bannerghatta National Park (BNP)

BNP has a crucial multi-faceted role to play in the lives of Bengalureans. BNP not only serves as the Wildlife corridor but also being one of few green spaces closer to Bengaluru, is vital to maintaining the ecological balance, reducing the temperature (heat island effect) and pollution and thus enhancing overall quality of life for the people of Bengaluru. NBF and the citizen of Bengaluru request the government that this request to MoEF&CC to notify a reduced SEZ is withdrawn immediately and the 268.96 sq km ESZ be retained for the sake Bengaluru and its children.

It is unfortunate that the government has now asked the Ministry of Environment and Forestry & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to notify a reduced ESZ of 168.84 Sq Kms against the original 268.96 Sq Kms. ESZ is the protective layer of BNP without which BNP will get fragmented and disintegrate. Reduction of ESZ has direct negative consequences on the health and happiness of people of Bengaluru. This will obstruct wildlife corridor and result in man animal conflicts. It will cut water streams feeding Cauvery and our taps will run dry sooner than later. We already have Asthma in 25% children in Bengaluru. Does the government want more children in Bengaluru to become Asthmatic?

The government should ‘’see this ground reality’’ through the eyes of its citizen. Not through the eyes of vested interests. The government seems to be ill advised by these antisocial elements on this matter. It looks as though vested interests want an Akrama Sakrama scheme implemented in disguise at BNP by reducing the ESZ. The government can’t and shouldn’t allow this regressive antipeople measure. The State government should heed to the advice of High Court & Supreme Court. It should honour the will of its people. The request to notify a reduced ESZ should be immediately withdrawn.

Namma Bengaluru Foundation, activists, environmentalists and citizens of Bengaluru today participated in a ‘MegaTweetathon’ on March 22, 2020 to #SaveBennerghatta. The Hashtag was trending along COVID 19 in the country where Bengalureans tweeted more than 3K tweets.  NBF and the citizen of Bengaluru through this tweetathon request the government that this request to MoEF&CC to withdraw the notification immediately and the 268.96 sq km ESZ be retained for the sake Bengaluru and its children.

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