Protests have erupted against construction of multi-level flyovers and grade separators close to KBR park yet again, following the shrinking of the Eco Sensitive Zone around the park.
Citizens and environmentalists gathered at the park on Friday, and took a New Year resolution to protect the eco system of the city from the “unplanned and unsustainable” development by civic authorities.
Messages written on recycled paper were tied to the trees in KBR park that are feared to be axed to make way for the SRDP project, using jute threads.
The protesters drew rangolis using chemical free organic colours on the walk way, with the message ‘Save KBR’. Those participating in the protest included ordinary citizens, activists, walkers in the park, and NGOs.
The Save KBR Citizens’ Movement is five years old, launched when the government initially proposed flyovers and other structures around the park as part of Package I in SRDP.
They approached the National Green Tribunal challenging the decision, to which the tribunal responded by asking the government to demarcate the Eco Sensitive Zone. Following this, the State government submitted proposals restricting the ESZ from three metres to 28 metres at various locations around the park, evoking another round of protests.
The expert panel under the Union Ministry of Environment & Forests, taking note of the public outcry, asked the State government to conduct a public hearing for demarcation of the ESZ.
“Initially, it was decided to conduct a public hearing in February last year, which was not done. Later, they said they finished the public hearing, but could not submit the report due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report is not being shared with the public. We have gathered here to renew our vows and keep the movement alive till the State government revokes the project,” said Kaajal Maheshwari, a city environmentalist working actively on the issue.