Tree-lovers highlight danger of axing 1000 banyans near Chevella

Hyderabad: People from all walks of life gathered on the Chevella highway to celebrate Diwali as a means to highlight the danger facing the banyan trees along the road.

The large shade-giving banyans, numbering about 1,000, were planted by the Nizam's government a century ago. The trees may be chopped to make way for the widening of the Hyderabad-Chevella-Vijayapuri (Bijapur) national highway.

Apart from the banyans, around 9,000 other trees are at risk from the proposed widening of the highway. These cover the last remaining scrub forests of Mudimyal and Kandlapally — home to many grassland species including migrating harriers and the rare tawny eagles, listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List.

The group recited a pledge and tied threads of friendship around the banyans, before lighting diyas to mark Diwali. Children showcased paintings and posters in support of the banyans.

Sadhana Ramchander, who is part of the organising group Nature Lovers of Hyderabad, condemned the authorities for not coming up with an alternative route for the highway to prevent the felling of a very large number of trees.
Apart from a group of cyclists, teachers and environmentalists also joined the campaign.


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