A 63-year old former BBMP official M B Krishnamurthy, is one of over dozen people arrested so far at the Sankey Road protests. Krishnamurthy, a diabetic patient and self-confessed tree lover, spoke to Citizen Matters from Vyalikaval Police Station where he was detained along with green activists.
Ironically, Krishnamurthy is from the same BBMP engineering department that is currently felling the trees for roadwidening.
For the past two days Malleswaram citizens have expressed fury against the BBMP for pushing forward with its roadwidening plan along a section of Sankey Road, for which 19 trees are being felled.
"I am a Sankey tank walker and do not want to see these trees felled. Making a signal free intersction here will be better then widening", argues Krishnmurthy. He had lived in the area for more than 30 years. "We have eaten the nerale hannu under the trees", he says, referring to the black colour fruits of the nerale trees.
Matters at Sankey Road came to a head on 1st July afternoon. After cutting off 4 trees in the early hours of the morning, BBMP officials pressed on with their agenda during the day. Protesters came back as expected and a head to head confrontation between them and state police ensued.
Noted environmenalist Suresh Heblikar, Lok Satta Party member and activist Dr Meenakshi Bharath, Vinay Srinivas of Hasiru Usiru are among those arrested today. Heblikar and the women arrested were taken to High Grounds police station, while the others including Krishnamurthy were kept at Vyalikaval Police Station.
Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha MP and ABIDE Convener Rajeev Chandrasekhar has severely criticised BBMP forcing into way on roadwidening.
"I am fundamentally opposed to road widening as it is not a permanent solution. It causes and disruption. It is nothing but an ad-hoc solution to the bad planning and lack of foresight and vision of the government". Chandrsekhar told Citizen Matters over email that roadwidening is acceptable only if this acceptable to the citizens. "Traffic situation cannot be solved..it can at best be managed", he points out. ⊕