Bengaluru: The translocation of 52 trees to widen the Jayamahal Road has begun with eight trees being moved some distance away for replanting on Thursday. Besides the translocating of the trees, two 10 ft tall saplings will be planted as part of the exercise.
The move marks a victory of sorts for public pressure as the BBMP’s decision to chop down the trees to widen the road was met with wide protests, forcing it to reconsider. But although the agency has agreed to translocate the trees rather than chop them down, it claims that of the 112 trees identified for axing, only 52 are fit to be moved.
Its decision has been welcomed by Bengaluru's “tree doctor,” Vijay Nishanth, who played an active role in saving the trees. “All these years trees were massacred. But at least now the government is listening to the views of tree activists and ordinary people. Bengalureans have clearly conveyed to the government that nothing can change their minds on this issue. It’s good to see that along with translocation of the trees, saplings will also be planted,” he said.
But Mr Srinivas Alavilli, coordinator of Citizens for Bengaluru, which also played a crucial role in stopping the axing of the Jayamahal trees by forming a human chain and shooting off e-mails and letters from the public to the government, was in two minds about the decision. “While the translocation is a better option than chopping down of the trees, this isn't what we had batted for. Widening of the road will not help reduce traffic congestion in the area. Why do we need to do this at all?” he demanded.
Pointing out that over 30,000 objections were sent to the office of Assistant Conservator of Forest against the project, he regretted that no response had been received so far. “The government needs to hold a public consultation to arrive at a real solution to the traffic problem on this stretch,” he stressed....