Monday, August 02, 2010

Give the trees some breathing space

Give the trees some breathing space
A green-lover goes around Rajajinagar, breaking concrete pavements that choke trees, to allow the rain water to seep into the soil below

Had the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) used a little common sense while laying pavements, green-lover Kesavan V Chelam would’t have thought of picking up the spade. He now goes around Rajajinagar 3rd Block, breaking the the concrete around trees to allow water to seep into the soil.
“It is good that the BBMP has been making pavements for the pedestrians. But they have to leave some space around the trees so that they can grow further and the water can go in when it rains,” said Chelam, an advocate and founder of the NGO Tree Protectors.
The drive started a while ago when the members of the NGO realised that that the trees have started drying after the pavement was laid. “The concrete is so tight around the trunks of the trees that rain water does not enter the soil. The plants cannot survive without water. I have been noticing this all over the city,” he said. Chelam, who has been making holes on pavements for last two weeks, said he would do it until covers every tree in the locality.
Although breaking pavements made by the BBMP is a cognisable crime and can draw a fine of upto Rs 5,000, BBMP commissioner Siddiah seems to be proud of Chelam’s idea. “We have committed enough crime against trees in the city. Our engineers should have thought of the trees while laying the pavements,” he said.
“We also have started to breaking the pavement around trees so that they don’t die,” he added.


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