Putting to rest the debate over the number of trees along the boundary of the Cubbon Park to be chopped for the elevated corridor, several volunteers scientifically mapped as many as 82 trees belonging to 12 different species.
Passing through Cubbon Park, the North-South elevated corridor, reportedly a double-decker, threatens to wipe out the rich green canopy along the stretch.
Starting as early as 8:30 am on Monday morning, a group of volunteers from different parts of the city took to mapping of the trees. Equipped with tapes, the volunteers, starting from the Mahatma Gandhi Statue Circle progressed towards Minsk Square, measuring trees on either side.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, Vijay Nishanth, founder of Project Vruksha, which has been mapping trees across Bengaluru said, “It took about two hours to cover the entire stretch and map all the trees and categorise them in species.” The volunteers measured the girth (in cms) and noted the approximate height of the trees (in metres), besides assessing the age. “While the project report pegs the number at 120 trees, we are yet to complete the mapping towards the far end of the stretch near the Mahatma Gandhi statue. As many as 82 trees belonging to 12 different species have been mapped and documented,” Nishanth said.
DH had first reported on March 12 in the story, ‘Elevated corridor to flatten 120 Cubbon Park trees’, about the extent of damage likely to the trees in Cubbon Park.
A volunteer from the team added: “What is unique about this stretch is that it has a lot of fruit bearing trees which is rare for any road in Bengaluru. Most of the roads have flowering trees or those valued for timber. But here, there are jamun, mango and tamarind trees. In fact, both mango and tamarind trees are more than 100 years old. With the project, a lot of birds will lose their habitat.”
Interestingly, some of the trees have been mapped with yellow colour and a few others with white markings.
According to Nishanth, the entire canopy can be viewed from the commentary box balcony of the Chinnaswamy stadium. “Several international cricketers have often commented on the salubrious green cover. But the elevated corridor will destroy the unique, long and endless canopy of trees in the heart of the city.”