160 trees to face axe for road-widening

Trader on Suranjan Das Road threatens to end life if tree is cut
Last Updated : 17 November 2010, 19:16 IST
Last Updated : 17 November 2010, 19:16 IST

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For residents, pedestrians and motorists who use the road, it seems that there is no way to prevent the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) from proceeding with the felling of the trees.

A desperate few have even threatened to commit suicide to save the trees.

Sayeed Iqbal and his family has been running a successful provision store on Suranjan Das Road for the past 45 years. He has threatened to commit suicide if the BBMP dares to cut the huge tree that is located right in front of his shop.

The road-widening project on the four-km stretch of Suranjan Das Road was started nearly four years ago. Earlier this year, the project was taken up under the public-private partnership model.

The BBMP is contributing 75 per cent of the project cost, while the remaining 25 per cent will be borne by the Bagamane Tech Park located on the stretch. The project has been commissioned at Rs 14 crore.

Old-timers recall how the Suranjan Das Road was once a walkers’ lane.  “When we moved to S G Palya in 1992, there was no traffic congestion ever and it had a thick green cover. However, now we are witnessing daily erosion of the environment and quick loss of green cover in the vicinity,” laments Brinda, a resident.

Both Brinda and Iqbal believe that the Palike’s decision to cut the trees is hasty and highly unwarranted.

“They should explore other possibilities instead of felling trees and affecting the environment. The impact of reckless tree-felling is already being felt by the people of Bangalore, as elsewhere in the country and the world. The residents will have to bear the brunt during the summer season owing to the unmindful action of the Palike,” observed Iqbal.

Axing trees not only leads to rising temperature and shrinking green cover, it also has a direct impact on the livelihood of people.

Muniswamy (60) who has been selling flowers for the past five years under the tree on a stretch on the Suranjan Das Road, will have to now move to another place. “My daily business will be hit,” he rued.

If for Muniswamy it is a matter of livelihood, for Yashaswini trees that dot the Suranjan Das Road have been an indispensable part of her childhood and growing years.

“With the felling of trees, a greater part of my childhood memories will be erased. Moreover, the cutting down of trees has been carried out by the Palike in a highly undemocratic manner. It appears that chopping trees in a unthoughtful manner has become a fetish among the civic agencies in Bangalore city, whose sense of infrastructural development and growth is skewed,” she said.

Green plan

However, the BBMP officials said that they were ready to plant 800 saplings in place of 160 trees that would make way for the road widening project.

Published 17 November 2010, 19:16 IST

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