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Bangalore losing all its greenery. Can we save it ?

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Bangalore was the city of lush greenery. Ask any Banglorean about the trees on either side of most of the roads in Bangalore, a decade ago. They would probably shed tears of blood today at the axing of numerous trees all over the city to make way for the modern infrastructure. This cosmopolitan city, was once naturally air conditioned, having pleasant weather throughout the year, basically because of its greenery and color - the city has a new color every month. The pleasant weather which gave the people a "lay back" attitude was dubbed as the city for retirees. However today it is the hub for all the activity happening in the Country. Today Bangalore is one of the most after cities in the World.

But at what cost ? People living in areas around Jayanagar, Sampige and Margosa Roads in Malleshwaram are bearing the brunt of this "murder" of large trees in the name of Infrastructure. While we do understand the importance of Infrastructure and support all the efforts of the Government, we are at the same time concerned at the axing of the trees resulting in our "Bengalooru" losing all the originality of "Garden City "

While trees are axed at one part of the City to make way for new roads, subways, Highways, Skyways, the existing trees which have still not come under the radar of the authorities are either dying a natural death for lack of care or used as Sign posts to attract business. Our freelance writer Rajesh Dangi brings to light the "near death" status of trees in Bangalore and suggests ways to save Bangalore's Green Cover.

Who care’s there are still lot many trees around!! This seems be the attitude of people and administration when you see diminishing garden city. Yes, the word ‘diminishing’ is used categorically to instate the alarming situation.

It has become a normal sight to see trees being cut, uprooted or falling victim to termite attacks and no one seems to care about them. Large termite attacks, cutting off branches, cutting off the full grown trees on roads and public area’s, uprooting for basement constructions, and umpteenth number of advertisements nailed on the trees for PG accommodations, call taxies etc. Heart broken, I felt like an important organ of the city being amputed!!

I heard there are many measures forest departments’ takes which have dedicated officers to conserve the green wealth in far flung forest areas. I think their presence in governance in cities is now becoming essential as it make more sense to monitor the green public wealth.

Few regulations/things which should be immediately enforced and implemented are..

  1. Conduct tree census and index each and every tree on public and private land and should be duly marked on current and future Development plans.
  2. All trees should be protected like endangered species and prohibit cutting, trimming activities anywhere in the city jurisdiction.
  3. Before approving any construction plans a forest department NOC should be mandated, any vacant land which has trees older than 5+ years must modify the designs to protect the current trees.
  4. All trees on the roads must be monitored at least on monthly basis to protect them from termite and human attacks such as nailing posters and advertisements.
  5. Any tree cutting should require approval from CM’s office under an affidavit notified via magistrate after obtaining forest department NOC. More importantly this notification for cutting should be advertised to invite objections from public if this tree is on public land.
  6. All offences on trees should be treated at par with humans and major punishments like imprisonment with fat fines…the amount collected should e used to enhance monitoring. Reporting any such offence via citizens should be rewarded 50% of the fine collected. A ‘tree helpline’ should be constituted and publicized. Even police have to support such called received on the number 100
  7. A city tax should be levied on all properties which do not have earmarked space for trees within the premise for sites which are more than 40x60 in dimension; all smaller sites should have a reservation for one vacant space on the same road against 10 houses sold.
  8. All current tree conservationists who have five or more trees in their premise aging more than 10 years should get 10% tax rebate and support for monitoring them.
  9. All apartments should have provided for one tree per resident duly maintain by the resident. Most enemies of trees are car park requirements, thus all residential sanctions must include / insist on design incorporating stilt car park, be it a independent house or an apartment.
  10. All localities should form a tree committee and govern the trees and coordinate with forest department to help conserve them, best committees should be rewarded with tax rebates for entire neighborhood…
  11. All advertisements, cables put/pulled on/upon the trees should be removed and any deviations should be reported via a toll free tree helpline or dedicated website.
  12. All defaulters should be deprived of any govt benefits or rebates, even business houses who only promote decorative plants and lawn should not be exempted if they don’t support big trees and include aforestation in their corporate objectives in their premised where they operate.
  13. Large urbanization projects should provide for budgets for relocation of trees if coming in way and ensure proper technologies are in place to safeguard the wellbeing of each individual tree being moved or relocated.
  14. Each corporate house should get free advertisement rights on road they would adopt in conservation of trees.
  15. All advertisement holdings should be removed if they cause any disturbance on growth of any tree directly or indirectly.

Perhaps these measures could help us sustain this green wealth and help restore the loss already causes to this beautiful city….

We would like to know what you think should be done to protect our greenery and probably retore some of the lost greenery. Your input is much appreciated.

 Read what Bangaloreans have to Say

Rajesh Dangi is a very active bloggger at Metroblogging Bangalore and has the distinction of posting the highest number of articles among all the Metroblogging sites around the World. An Information Technology professional,Rajesh balances between photography, poetry (published his poems in Marathi), and blogging… he loves Bangalore climate and peace which he feels he missed in Mumbai for ages… Rajesh also maintains his City Daily Photo blog showing Bangaloreans his perspectives and paradigms of the City.

Check out Rajesh Dangi's Blog

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