Saturday, May 28, 2005

Bangalore losing its rich tree cover

Bangalore losing its rich tree cover

The dreams of Tipu Sultan, Mysore Maharajahs and Sir Mark Cubbon that gave Bangalore the unique character of a true "Garden City" are all but disappearing.

In the last five years, the city's tree cover has come a cropper thanks to official policy that disregards the original character of the city.

Recently the Municipal Corporation said 700 trees would be chopped in the city to widen roads.

It caused a huge uproar among tree lovers and Bangaloreans and the programme was halted. This week nature has played its part in the mayhem.

Pre-monsoon showers

The heavy pre-monsoon showers in Bangalore have resulted in hundreds of trees being uprooted because of the concrete pavements that have virtually choked these trees to death.

Environmentalists have been trying to convince the authorities that when they are laying the concrete footpaths, at least a meter around the base of the tree should not have concrete around it so that the rainwater can seep through and the roots be protected. But the requests have fallen on deaf ears.

"It's a very sad thing that these trees are being chopped because that is the beauty of Bangalore and that is what helps keep temperatures down and giving lung space to the city," said Dhruv, a local.

"Last five years, I have been in Bangalore and now it's totally polluted and there are no trees. It's really bad now," said another local, Aman.

The only people who are laughing all the way to the bank are the timber merchants and the conniving authorities.


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