Relocation of trees to mislead public, greens decry

Relocation of trees to mislead public, greens decry

The 100-year-old peepal tree that was relocated from Bunts Hostel Road in Mangaluru recently.

Environmentalists have accused the Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) of deceiving the public by relocating the centuries-old peepal tree from the Bunts Hostel Circle.

As many as three trees have been relocated by the MCC in the past but none of the trees has survived, asserted the environmentalists.

Sashidhar Shetty of the
National Environment Care Federation (NECF) told DH that the money spent on the relocation should have been utilised for planting new saplings.

“In Mangaluru, there has not been a single instance of a peepal tree, which is more than 100 years old, surviving relocation,” he insisted.

“A relocated tree may survive only if it is less than 15 years old. The idea of relocating a tree is merely a waste of the tax payers’ money,” he criticised.

Dry weather

“In addition, the weather is not favourable for relocation of trees. This is not the rainy season and, therefore, the roots of the tree will not find moisture in the dry weather,” he explained.

Dinesh Holla, artiste and environmentalist, said that the MCC should have been followed scientific methods while relocating a tree.

“In Bunts Hostel Circle, the branches of the peepal tree were chopped off before the relocation. This is not right and one should remember that trees too have life. Also, during relocation, the tree should have been shifted along with its soil,” he pointed out.

‘Development mantra’

Gururaj Maralihalli, MCC executive engineer, said that traffic logjams have become frequent near the Bunts Hostel Circle. “Widening of the road has become the only solution to the problem. As part of the development of the Bunts Hostel Circle, a five-metre one-way concrete road, along with stormwater drain and a pedestrian path will be constructed. Also, a bus bay will be built nearby,” explained the executive engineer.

In contrast to the environmentalists’ apprehension, Maralihalli expressed confidence of the peepal tree’s survival.

He insisted that the MCC did not chop the tree branches, respecting the religious beliefs of the people. “The local people have been watering the tree. There had been no option of retaining the tree as it was on the centre of the proposed five-metre road,” he claimed.


In Mangaluru, there are many examples of roads being widened without cutting down trees. One such example is that of a cannonball tree in front of University College. Another one is a peepal tree opposite the Karangalpady market and a third was in front of Infosys in Kottara Chowki.