Bengaluru: The recent protests by the public against the proposed axing of the heritage trees in Government Veterinary Hospital premises on Queens Road, has finally borne fruit.
N. Shanta Kumar, Assistant Conservator of Forests has requested the Animal Husbandry Department not go ahead with the cutting of the trees. "He came to the hospital and requested Dr Nagendra, deputy director, to do a public consultation so that the trees could be saved. We will collect cancellation letter from him on Saturday. I hope this is something they can follow up on," said Priya Chetty Rajgopal, who is a part of Knights for Queens, the citizen forum that spearheaded the cause.
However, the fate of the ABC centre in the campus, Sarvodaya, still remains uncertain. Harini Nagendra, an environmentalist and Professor of Sustainability at Azim Premji University, said, "It is a good step to stress on the importance of saving massive heritage trees. These have an effect disproportionate to their size. They provide important key habitats for urban birds and wildlife, reduce air pollution and cool the urban micro climate. They can reduce temperature by several degrees!"
The Karnataka Tree Preservation Act states that any dispute between the grantee and others can result in cancelling of tree felling permission. "In this case there is clearly one! There is a public outcry on these magnificent trees felling. It may sound like four trees, but if you look at the campus, those are the ones that form a canopy," Ms Rajgopal said. Experts like Dr T.V. Ramachandra Rao of
IISc are also part of the protest.