Bike rally to protest felling of trees in north Bengal
The public protest against the alleged illegal, large-scale felling of trees in north Bengal took a sharp turn on Sunday with at least a hundred participating in a 33 km bike rally from Siliguri to Lataguri, near the Gorumara National Park, sporting green capes.
"Trees are being cut illegally and indiscriminately for the construction of a overbridge. The bike rally protest through the two hour stretch from Siliguri to Lataguri is to generate mass awareness," a rally participant said.
Lataguri is located on the fringes of the national park, home to the Indian one-horned rhino, on National Highway No. 31.
The bike rally follows a steady stream of protests through social media campaigns and online petitions against the construction of a rail over bridge over NH 31.
Both men and women, donning black helmets rode through the scenic route, canopied by sturdy trees, in the region popularly called Dooars. Rallying under the banner of 'Paribesh Premi Joutho Mancha', they sported green cape-like jackets with 'Save Forest, Save Wild Animals' etched on them.
Locals allege thousands of trees are being cut down close to the national park.
Earlier this month, the National Green Tribunal's eastern zone bench had continued the stay order issued by Calcutta High Court restraining the state forest department from felling trees in the forested area.