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Sangareddy-based environmental activist Paladugu Gnaneshwar have saved a 100-year-old sacred fig tree from being cut down.

Sangareddy: Citizens with the support of Sangareddy-based environmental activist Paladugu Gnaneshwar have saved a 100-year-old sacred fig tree from being cut down and removed from the premises of the Lord Shiva Temple near the Rythu Bazaar in Vanasthalipuram in Hyderabad.

After coming to know about the attempt of the temple committee to do away with the tree, Gnaneshwar drove from Siddipet to Vanasthalipuram and staged a protest for six hours demanding the temple management to stop felling the tree, the branches of which were already chopped down in the name of pruning. Gnaneshwar spoke to Forest Range Officer (FRO) Indrasena Reddy and informed him about the incident. The FRO said the department had not accorded any permission to cut the tree. However, Reddy did not visit the place to stop cutting the tree or take any action against the culprits, Gnaneshwar said.

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Several citizens, particularly children and the elderly, joined Gnaneshwar and staged a protest at the tree holding placards and raising slogans which attracted the attention of more people, who then joined the protest. Finally, temple committee chairman Matam Santha Kumar and other committee members talked to them and assured the protestors that they would not cut the tree.

The issue started when the branches of the massive tree, where devotees used to sit after offering prayers, were pruned a week ago. Local citizens Asha Jyothi, Venu Madhav and others raised their voices against the attempt. However, the authorities decided to go ahead to cut the tree, which was when the citizens called Gnaneshwar.

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