Neem trees turn bitter for BBMP

Sources told Deccan Herald that neem, known as Bevu in Kannada, is no more a darling of the BBMP’s forest wing. The BBMP has decided not to grow neem in public places within the city limits. The higher-ups in the forest cell have instructed  their sub-ordinates to discourage neem plantation. They have also been told to not grow its saplings in the nurseries.

Reason may sound strange: If more neem saplings are planted, it would affect the city’s greenery! Neem with its medicinal values has got many enemies, who are against its growth.

Confirming this oral instruction by the higher-ups in the BBMP’s forest cell, sources in the Palike said, “The labourers in the city have become enemy of neem trees, unknowingly.

Even the saplings are not spared, as its sticks are used as toothbrush. A couple of days after the neem saplings are planted they are cut down. On inquiry, we have come to know that some labourers are using it as toothbrush.”

Also, once neem is grown, some people plant a peepal (Ashwath) sapling beside it and perform their marriage.

As the tradition goes, neem adjacent to peepal is treated among Hindus as Ardhanaarishwara.  These religious sentiments of the Hindus are often exploited by the landsharks.

Environmentalist Leo Saldanha, said that  the BBMP’s decision to discourage its growth can prove detrimental to the environment.

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