Thursday, April 21, 2005

Can’t see the wood?

Can’t see the wood?
The BCC has been on a tree-cutting spree and the city’s greens see red

Gaurav J, member, Hasire Usiru

Bangalore is the fastest developing city in India. But it appears to be developing at too high a cost. It is now becoming a battle-ground where people are fighting for space and sacrificing the city’s trees.

There has been a massive tree-felling drive in the last few months, ostensibly to clear roads for traffic. But cutting trees will not solve our traffic problems. We need to be more creative, putting in place effective public transportation and better traffic management.

So, don’t destroy them to create parking spaces or wider roads. The option of tree-felling should only be exercised if the tree is very old.

Develop, by all means, but strike a balance and preserve the city’s trees. Tree-cutting must stop now. In fact, we need to plant more trees and give life a chance.

K Jothiramalingam, BCC Commissioner

Yes, those trees on Residency Road had to be cut. They were likely to endanger a person or structure. The Constitution of India has stated the powers and responsibilities of the municipal corporation and stated that urban forestry is its responsibility. We also plant trees. We have a budget to plant 50,000 trees. In the past five years, we planted more than one lakh trees.

A few months ago, a scooterist died on Palace Road when a branch of a tree fell on him. The council then accused
the commissioner calling him bejawaabdari (irresponsible). Even the environment policy of the Government of India states that man is at the centre of environmental activity. I consider a tree priceless, but I consider the value of human life a little more than that. Who can bring back the life of the young man who died?


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