May this tribe of greens grow

Hennur Bande residents plant saplings along roads in the locality

May this tribe of greens grow

Nature-conscious members of the Bhyraveshwara Residents’ Association have not only taken the trouble to plant hundreds of saplings in the Hennur Bande locality, but they have also made preparations to name each street after a particular variety of tree.

They decided not to name the streets after well-known people, but trees, so that people realise their value. The Association aims to plant trees everywhere in Hennur Bande. So far, it has planted 300 trees spread over 23 streets, 19 of which are now due to be named. A committee of seven people volunteered to select the appropriate names in accordance with the species of the tree on each boulevard.

The Association’s achievement did not come about overnight. In 2007, the Association approached individual houses and convinced 44 of the families to plant trees of their choice in their immediate vicinity.

In addition, a five-member committee assists in the planting of saplings every year, with the help of interested residents and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) contractors who are familiar with the area. In the last five years, 720 saplings have been planted, out of which 300 have grown full height, they said.

Community support

The BBMP has publicly declared its support for the initiative. Govindaraj, the local corporator, has helped the Association procure extra saplings not available to ordinary residents.

The Palike has provided protective bamboo guards to prevent the trees from being damaged by cattle and other animals. The plants are watered by tankers hired by residents, said a committee member. Reena Kappan, a committee member who first made the suggestion to name streets after plants, said: “People visiting our locality seek our advice on creating beautiful surroundings.”

Well-known environmentalist A N Yellappa Reddy, who was consulted by the committee, explained that trees were vital to the biodiversity of a natural system. “They filter the suspended particles present in the air, giving out aroma and kill the microbes,” Reddy said. “Due to increased production of oxygen by them, global warming is reduced,” he said.

According to Reddy, Elengi is the most common tree species found in the neighbourhood. “Small grey flowers sprout from it and spread fragrance. Bakula is a sacred plant mentioned in the scriptures of all religions and four varieties of it are grown in Hennur Bande. Bilva and Champaka trees release fragrance in the air as a defence mechanism against pests,” he said.

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