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To: Government of Telangana, GHMC, HMDA, Forest Department, MAUD, Ministry of Environment, Union of India,
Save The Walkway (or THE ECO-SENSITIVE ZONE) of the KBR National Park
Stop cutting trees and destroying the rocks in the Eco-Sensitive Zone or the buffer zoneof the KBR park for the newly proposed SRDP (Strategic Road development Program)
Why is this important?
KBR Park is a “National Park”. This national park is located on a ridge which acts as a vast carbon and water sink for the rapidly developing city and stands as the last vestige of the flora, fauna and unique rock formations representing the rich bio-diversity of the Deccan Plateau which includes over 600 species of plant life (including rare medicinal plants), 120 species of birds, 20 mammal species, about 20 species of reptiles and amphibians and hundreds of species of insects, and other invertebrates.
Hyderabad currently has a dismal 2.6% tree cover as compared to a national average of 10% and this National Park in the middle of our city acts as our lungs.
Any talk of cutting and/or transplantation of trees in the close proximity of the National Park also referred to as ESZ (Eco-Sensitive Zone) or buffer zone cannot be compared with the cutting down or transplantation of trees elsewhere in the city. Any damage to the Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) around the national park, will cause irreparable damage to the ecology of the national park.
The Clause 1.1.2, in the letter by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, to the Chief Wildlife wardens of all States and Union Territories (Dated 9th February, 2011) states that the areas within 10 km of the boundaries of the National Park and sanctuaries falls under Eco-Sensitive Zone.
The Gazette of India, from the MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
NOTIFICATION, New Delhi dated 18th December, 2015, has declared a 25-35m of the HMDA walkway around the perimeter of the park as an “Eco-Sensitive Zone” from ecological and environmental point of view. We are already at a minimum requirement with respect to the width of the buffer zone. With the new SRDP (Strategic Road Development Plan), most of this buffer zone will be destroyed, including the flora, fauna and rare rock formations. SRDP around the park, is not about development, it is about a slow and sure death of a national park and its eco-system, causing irrevocable damage to the city and the quality of life of its people on the whole.
Transplantation of trees which fall in the Eco-Sensitive Zone in the name of saving KBR, this is not even an option that can be considered, as per the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change notification. As mentioned earlier, any damage to this Eco-Sensitive Zone, will have a direct detrimental impact on the KBR National Park.
Therefore, we urge the government and the concerned departments to seriously evaluate alternative options including re-routing the flyovers around the KBR National Park, working in conjunction with urban town planners to come up with alternative routes, improving existing public transport systems with special focus on the upcoming Metro rail project, car pooling options, staggered office timings etc.
This movement is not about saving a few trees around the KBR national park, it is about saving KBR national park as a unit. We need to question all developmental projects and put in place a system that will ensure that equal importance and focus is given to safeguarding, developing, maintaining and improving the natural resources of our city.
While we are not against any development, we are for “organic, sensitive and sustainable” growth, which will be in complete sync with the commitment India has made at Paris Climate Change Agreement in which we have agreed to increase our green cover to sequester the carbon we are emitting.