Encroachment of space around trees on the rise

Mini temples are built under trees by placing idols

Encroachment of space around trees on the rise

The space around many trees in the City are being encroached upon by citizens to build ‘mini temples,’ despite the Supreme Court’s orders against putting up idols and constructing any structure in public spaces or properties, including the trees on roads.

For instance, at Shantiniketan Double Road at Arakere on Bannerghatta Road, a huge mango tree near the Sai Baba Temple that was once a peaceful spot has now turned into a place of worship, with people performing pujas and even homas.

The residents who live nearby said that these practices started after a small shrine along with images of gods were placed under the tree by a few locals.

“A few metres ahead, another Banyan tree is similarly being encroached upon, as some people have placed an idol under it. They have managed to build the shrine overnight without any permission from the civic authorities,” said the local residents.

They also said that their complaints to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the police officials have fallen on deaf ears.

All over City

The problem is not limited to one area, as residents from Banaswadi, Chamarajpet, Bull Temple Road among others too voiced similar concerns. Dr Meenakshi Bharat of the Citizen Action Forum (CAF) said that at Sadashivnagar too, a tree had been encroached upon.

“There are enough temples in the City and why can’t people go there? The Palike is aware of such encroachments but are not taking action. They should raze such illegal structures immediately,” she added.
 
Ban sought

The General Secretary of the Federation of North East Residents Welfare Associations (NERWA), Jude Rajesh Ferrao, said that the State government should impose a ban on such practices.

The NERWA members had submitted a memorandum to Home Minister K J George a couple of months ago in which the problem of trees being misused was highlighted, he added.

The BBMP Horticulture Standing Committee Chairman M Muniraju told Deccan Herald that it is wrong on the part of people to put pictures or idols under public trees. He added that the matter would be discussed with the higher authorities in the upcoming meeting.

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