Friday, May 07, 2010

‘Ghosts’ fell trees in Indiranagar

‘Ghosts’ fell trees in Indiranagar
Residents object to pruning of branches one day; the next day they wake up to find four trees chopped down

The trees of Bangalore, after facing the ‘axe-effect’ from the government, are facing threat from yet another corner. According to residents of 100 Feet Road in Indiranagar, four wellgrown trees in their area have been felled by unknown persons in the last three days without permission from the authorities concerned.
For the people residing close to the Domlur flyover, it came as a surprise when a few persons came to prune the branches of some trees along the 100 Feet Road three days ago. When they sought an explanation, BBMP officials who accompanied the workers said the branches of the trees were obstructing the electric and telephone lines. But the next morning, they found four trees were chopped down. They have no clue who did it.
The residents said four trees in front of Citibank, Vodafone office and John Players building, located near the Domlur flyover, were chopped down in the last three days. “Late on Saturday night I heard the sound of something falling. I came out to find four men cutting a tree. When I confronted them, they told me that they have a permission letter. But they refused to show me the letter,” said Ameer Ajmed, a watchman at an apparel showroom on 100-Feet Road.
Lloyd Nehemiah, a resident of Indiranagar, said, “Pruning the branches in some areas is inevitable. But you don’t chop down the entire tree. What harm have they done to the road users? The government is not widening the road. Then why are these trees being axed? Nobody knows who has cut the trees.”
“They must have thought that cutting the trees at one go would trigger protests from the residents. Hence they have started ‘pruning’ first. What is surprising is that no official has come to inspect the area even after we informed the BBMP and the local police. Are they trying to dodge the issue? Nobody is explaining the reason for cutting the trees,” said Shalini S, a bank manager who lives in the locality.
Deepak Kumar, an employee at the Vodafone office, said, “Trees were chopped off without our knowledge and the reason is unknown. They were giving us nice shade but overnight, all of them have gone. Around 20-30 customers asked us why the trees were being cut.”
When Bangalore Mirror contacted N L Shantkumar, BBMP’s Conservator of Forest, he said he was not aware of the matter, as he had not given permission for cutting the trees and directed us to the tree officer.
However, when we contacted tree officer M R Suresh, he refused to comment on the issue


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