A face-off is underway in Kempegowda Layout. On the one side are site allotees of the layout and villagers of Kanali and other side are the civic authorities. And the battle is over a lone tree.
But this is no ordinary tree. The Kaadu boorga tree is said to be at least 100-150 years old. The tree lies on the buffer zone of the storm water drain (SWD) in KG Layout of Block 1, and is the only tree that is left standing among the thousands of such trees in the locality.
Several attempts were made to cut the tree, but the villagers are determined to save it, as they are keeping a strict vigil day and night in order to save the healthy tree for the next generation.
“Eight-ten feet of the tree bottom was covered during the formation of KG layout,” Siddalingaiah, a resident of Kanali village, said.
“We worship the tree as our deity as it has been present for six to seven generations of our families. If the layout had been designed with the consultation of villagers, more trees would have been saved. But the main focus of the civic body was to flatten the land and form the layout, so mercilessly many trees were axed.”
The grim news comes amid a recent Indian Institute of Science (IISc) report, which proposed at least one tree for one person to maintain healthy urban environment.
In the present case, there is not a single tree in the vicinity even though 500 plots are coming up.
Explaining the significance of the tree, city-based history enthusiast Dharmendra Kumar said, “Markings were done to cut the tree for small storm water drains but the attempt stopped after opposition from villagers.”
Members of Naada Prabhu Kempegowda Layout (NPKL) Open Forum demanded authorities to develop the place as a tourist attraction.