Tree guards turn dump yards

Tree guards turn  dump yards

Though the government might be taking measures to beautify the City, some of the initiatives are in a pathetic state like the metal tree guards that are placed all over the City to protect plants. Most of them, like those near Trinity Circle, Koramangala Sixth Block and Domlur, lie unattended to.

Those involved with the protection of the flora and fauna in the City say that the BBMP is not doing enough to keep these plants protected and healthy. Seshadri, a conservationist with the ‘Environment Support Group’, says the authorities should use eucalyptus cones as tree guards instead of iron and concrete ones.

“There are four kinds of tree guards — iron, concrete, bamboo and eucalyptus cones. The administration should do away with the concrete and metal guards and use more of eucalyptus cone guards. These are less expensive and provide a good environment for plants to grow. These tree guards were there in the City from 1982 to 1995 but were replaced with metal ones later,” he says.

He points out that placing plants inside the guards is not enough; the administration has to take steps for their upkeep and healthy growth. “Generally, the BBMP takes a contract to maintain them but most of the time, nothing is done.

Before the monsoon, the soil around the plants should be dug and placed like a saucer so that water can be retained. This is known as soil working,” he informs.

Often, one can see garbage being dumped inside the tree guards. This is the case at the junction of Victoria Layout and Vivek Nagar. “There is a lot of concrete and garbage in the area that needs to be cleared from time to time. Also, clearing the weeds is important for the proper growth of these plants. As we can see, the BBMP often digs the land around these plants to check the water pipes and electricity wires. They end up cutting the roots of these plants, making them weak,” he explains.

Sanchay, who is involved in many environmental activities in the City, informs that in many areas, the condition of these plants is tragic. “While in some cases, the plants have perished due to poor maintenance and the tree guards lie empty, in others, the plants can be seen battling for survival. Monsoon is perhaps their only hope.” 

   Seshadri says that it is important that the administration plants trees which acclimatise quickly. “These plants beautify the City. Local plants do not need high maintenance as they are used to the climate and also support the fauna.
Insects like butterflies often use them for breeding and shelter and share a symbiotic relationship,” he adds.

S S Khandre, the public relations officer of the BBMP, however, says that the BBMP has a plan for the maintenance of the plants as well as tree guards for the monsoon this year.

   “We have a number of tree guards under us and we are planning to plant some more saplings this year. We will soon start the maintenance work,” he informs.
Nitusha, a social-work student, speaks of involving youngsters in maintaining these plants.

   “I am sure that many youngsters will be willing to lend a helping hand for a cause like this. We can form groups and help in watering, cleaning the concrete, de-weeding as well as planting saplings across the City. We are ready to help,” she
concludes.

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