On October 15th evening, residents of HRBR Layout were shocked to see trees being cut by BBMP workers in yet another park developed by BBMP’s Horticulture Department. These were fully grown trees and the park is located at 9th G Main Road, HRBR Layout, 1st block in Kalyannagar (Ward 88).
On enquiry, we were told that the workers have the permission from Range Officer of BBMP. When we asked them to show the permission they did not show this, telling us that it is with one Purushotam, who was not there. The reason they gave for the cutting the trees was the requirement of sunlight for the grass and small shrubs they have recently planted in the area between the trees. This reminds one of the saying ‘cutting your nose to spite your face’. They do not seem to have understood the idea behind the development of the park at all.
Residents finally contacted BBMP’s Tree Officer M R Suresh, who acted swiftly to stop the cutting and assured that more trees will not be cut.
The park is unique and creates a wonderful lung-space with its many trees which attract birds and butterflies, a rare sight now in this burgeoning concrete city. The park is in fact an example that should be followed throughout Bangalore. Residents were grateful to BBMP for having taken the decision to develop it after repeated requests.
But now, the damage has already been done and chopped branches and flattened stumps were lying on the park instead of the lush greenery, that was once filled with over 200 trees.
Residents of the area would like to know this: Was permission given to cut down the tress? If yes, on what grounds? If not, on whose instructions did BBMP workers cut the trees in this park?
We have sent an e-mail to BBMP Commissioner Bharat Lal Meena and asked him to investigate the matter and take stern action against the people responsible. We have also asked the commissioner to make necessary arrangements for the replacement of the cut trees and replanting of saplings.
There seems to be utter disregard for environmental protection among the people who take such decisions on their own without the necessary permission and against the wishes of residents for whom the park is meant.
Unfortunately this is not the first time such an incident has happened. A few months ago a similar situation took place after which we received an assurance from Shivanna, Superintendent of Horticultural Department that such a thing would not occur again.
We hope this report brings the concerned authorities’ notice to our park as well as other parks facing the same plight and urge other citizens to raise their voices for a greener Bangalore. Whenever a single tree is cut, whether on the roadside or in a park, double the number must be replanted and taken care of, we must demand for it. ⊕
BBMP sent 25 sapplings as replacements for the trees that had been cut down. Pic: Lina Vincent.
Following the complaints and calls made by residents of Kalyan Nagar 1st block, regarding the tree cutting in the park, and also subsequent to the publication of the article regarding the matter in Citizen Matters, BBMP sent a load of 25 sapplings as replacements for the trees that had been lost due to miscommunication and negligence. Of the 25 trees, 24 were planted within the park, along the borders and in the centre. This happened between the 20th and 22nd of October.