Save Chevella's Banyans

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Over a hundred Banyan trees on the Hyderabad-Chevella-Bijapur highway have been set on fire deliberately. This is most barbaric and is nothing but butchery of these stately trees. 

We request you to take urgent action in this matter, and ensure that these trees are saved for our future generations.

We commend your efforts to increase the green cover in Telangana with your flagship programme - Telangana Ku Haritha Haram - but we also request you to please safeguard our existing green cover, especially our old heritage trees.

What happened?

Based on newspaper reports, a group of nature lovers surveyed and inspected the road stretch from Moinabad to Manneguda where hundreds of stately Banyans and other trees line the road.

We counted a total of 941 Banyans, of which 101 trees had sustained varying degrees of burns. Of these, 21 trees had moderate burns, 64 were severely burnt and 16 had toppled/dead from severe burns (see the data and resources section below). We urge concerned citizens to visit the Chevella stretch and note the damage (please be mindful of COVID-19 guidance when you go there). 

Last year too we had noted these fires, and lodged a complaint at the Chevella police station. But this year they are widespread. We have also observed that trees had toppled after repeated burning and injuries sustained were never left to heal and unfortunately many trees have succumbed.

What can we do?

Last year, our petition for support led to the stopping of the road expansion project and saved thousands of trees from cutting/translocation. It's time we rally together for their support again. Together, as citizens of Telangana, let us find an enduring solution for these trees. But first, the government must take immediate action to protect the trees.

Data and resources

We have documented the damage in a spreadsheet - you can see it here.

Here is our letter to the Forest department documenting the damage.